On hackday planning and Symfony Live Berlin

  • Lukas Kahwe Smith

Quite a few Liipers attended Symfony Live in Berlin last week. Next to myself there was

Dorian, Stefan and

Tobias. On the first day there were a selection of workshops

and talks about the general PHP ecosystem, while the talks on the second day focused more

on Symfony2 itself. The Driebit team did giid summaries of the

first and

second day on

their Symfony blog. The day after the conference featured the

hackday which by my estimates

had around 60-80 attendees, which means a quarter of all conference attendees showed up.

Pretty awesome! I demoed the Symfony CMF to well over a dozen

people who where all huddeling around me and my laptop since we didn't have a projector.

The following are just some quick notes about what I think went well at the last hackday in

Berlin and where we could potentially improve the next time around.

  • ask people to plan a head (create an easy picks issue tag, prepare user stories etc)
  • make sure its free, if necessary put up a donation hat, try to get sponsors to keep costs down and share the risks
  • ask people to sign up, but make it clear this is just to help organization, anyone is ok to show up without signup
  • have a whiteboard
  • make sure there are plenty of power strips
  • have paper and pens for people to setup signs about what they do for each table
  • have great wifi (check if there are any local “geek institutions” like in Berlin there is the cbase and co.up) .. if you don't have great wifi ask people to not use the wifi on their mobile devices and not for personal use, encourage paired working
  • ensure you have a projector or at least large monitor so that people can demo stuff to large groups
  • provide drinks and snacks and organize lunch
  • ideally have someone dedicated to all organizational stuff around the venue, food etc.
  • do not wait for people to show up, people will be coming and going all day, get to work quickly
  • open an IRC channel, wiki page and/or twitter hash tag for people to post ideas so that they can find like minded people
  • experienced people should roam around, answering questions, approaching people that seem lost and generally encouraging people to engage others rather than do stuff on their own (if you can set it up .. have someone with a camera walk around and live project the video on a wall)
  • offer alternative entertainment, foosball table, wii/x-box etc to let people just socialize

Anything that should be added to this list? Should we maybe move this to the documentation or some wiki?

A brief search on the web didn't really provide a super duper list to contribute to.

But I did find a few like this.

Tell us what you think