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Stuff You Don't Need

  1. Stuff You Don’t Need
  2. Who am I? I am Taylor Barnett Currently a Developer Evangelist at Keen IO, Organized HackTX for 3 years, Thrown dozens of 25-650 people events You can find me at @taylor_atx
  3. I am not telling you how to run your event.
  4. I’m not saying this because…
  5. This is talk is because…
  6. “ It’s a direct reflection of the character of the leadership of the event. Organizers care about what the attendees of the event are going to care about. -Rob Spectre, Twilio
  7. 1 The Coolest Venue
  8. 2 Premium Food
  9. 3 Shirts
  10. 4 BIG Keynote Speaker
  11. 5 “Best” Hackers
  12. 6 Non-Quantifiable Words
  13. 7 HUGE Events
  14. 8 Random Attractions
  15. 9 Travel Reimbursements
  16. 10 Fancy Awards Ceremonies
  18. Learning What’s the purpose of going if you don’t leave with more knowledge than you came in with?
  19. Mentorship Being stuck is isolating and we don’t do enough to prevent that.
  20. Supportive Hacking Environment Code of Conduct, Reporting Guidelines, Tone, Space, etc
  21. Supportive Hacking Environment Code of Conduct, Reporting Guidelines, Tone, Space, etc
  22. Thanks! Any questions? You can find me at @taylor_atx SlidesCarnival: This template is free to use under Creative Commons Attribution license.
  23. Workshop Sunday at 1pm
  24. Thanks! Any questions? You can find me at @taylor_atx SlidesCarnival: This template is free to use under Creative Commons Attribution license.

Notas do Editor

  1. Not saying this because I don’t like these things or don’t think they are great Some of these things can be great, but it does not mean they are necessary for your event
  2. Observed certain trends that we are focusing too much on things that don’t really matter in the end Could be saving time, money, and other resources Allow them to focus on the more important things, like all the other things that really matter when someone looks back on your event Let’s create quality events from the start For the x amount of time that you spent on getting a sponsor to buy something you didn’t need, could you have spent that time planning a better experience for a hacker the day of the event?
  3. If the organizers care about money, that’s what the people who show up are going to care about
  4. You need a place where hackers: Have room to work on projects Aren’t sweating or freezing Have wifi, power outlets Aren’t jammed in like a can of sardines
  5. Though I am very anti-pizza It unhealthy, not filling, greasy, but you also don’t need trays and trays California, Rainbow, and Shrimp Tempura Sushi Rolls for dinner Rice and beans story… Hackers care about: Having enough food to feel full That their stomachs are not grumbling when they are trying to work on their project That their dietary and allergy needs are taken - for example… Focus on these things, not the super fancy $15 a plate food Focus on having snacks and not just meals Focus on food lines that don’t take more than 30 minutes to get fed
  6. Hackers have a ton of shirts, maybe even too many Your sponsors give them most of them You really don’t need to give them another shirt or two - it won’t make or break your event There are cheaper swag items if you want your own hackathon personalized swag, maybe even more memorable and useful things like water bottles or notebooks to write their ideas and project design onto
  7. Your opening ceremony should be for three things: Continuing to set the tone of the event: Code of Conduct Reporting Guidelines Anything hackers need to know about your event specifically Your sponsors demos Getting to why they actually showed up to your event - to hack, build, create, and design At 8pm on Friday after a week of class, homework, and life, most people don’t want to listen to the same person for 15 min when they came to a hackathon It’s not a speaker series or conference, it is a hackathon Hackers are at events to learn by doing, not by listening
  8. You don’t need the “best” hackers You need hackers, and barely even that You need people who want to build things from your local community We need to stop talking about hackers like they are a cut of super rare meat that is USDA Prime rated, sustainably raised, grass fed, whatever So what if someone is a first time hacker or has placed in 3 events, Hackathons are for learning and so many other things. Everyone can do those things, not just the “best” hackers. I know it is something you probably tell sponsors, but it means nothing if 10 other events say it too What even is the “best” hacker? It is a very unquantifiable person. Which leads us to….
  9. How many hackathons have you been to that claimed to be the “best?” I have been to at least 5 “best” hackathons. The thing about being the “best” is that there’s only one Words like: Awesomest Best Largest Biggest (don’t have much reliable data to support these in a lot of cases) Most Epic Most Premiere Most Epically Incredible Super-Premiere Really Really Big You don’t need to be Shark Hacks 5000 - don’t even waste time thinking about them
  10. From MLH’s research, they have found that 100-600 human events are the ones that are preferred the most Worry about the experience for people at your event, not how many can we get here
  11. How many people have you heard say a hackathon was “the best” because it had video games? Probably zero. You really don’t need to waste time planning spaces with random attractions When I asked the current HackTX team about stuff we don’t need, this was one of them that multiple team members brought up They are always under utilized because people are busy hacking, eating, or resting Some random attraction are: Video games Massages Random games that only 30 out of hundreds of people at the event end up playing Anything you are doing just for a WOW factor You are just better off WOWing people in other ways
  12. This one is tough I know you want people to come to your event from all over our solar system But too much of our budgets are travel reimbursements and too much of our time is spent working on them If you want to do buses, sure! Go for it! A quality event is easy brought down by travel reimbursements: If you don’t handle them in time, people never forget If you make bad decisions on who gets them, people never forget If you take too long to answer emails about them, people never forget They weigh events down - sometimes into the ground Focus more on your local community and the community you have within a 6 hour bus ride You’d be shocked how many hackers or soon to be hackers you can find in this radius if you do outreach right
  13. You know what hackers who spent the last 24+ hours awake call an amazing awards ceremony? Naptime. Just like an opening ceremony, you are standing between hackers and something they want People want three things out a awards ceremony: To see what cool projects people made Find out if they won anything For it to be over so they can go home and sleep You should not waste time during it, and please don’t have another keynote speaker Spend time trying to make it as fast as possible instead: Prepare and optimize transitions between hacks Work with sponsors and other people who need to give out prizes Work with hackers so that their demos are successful and don’t cause delays
  14. You can make up for a memorable “experience” with things that matter even more than the stuff you don’t need Could be saving time, money, and other resources, which will allow to focus on more important things
  15. Work with sponsors more to help do mentorship better Create resources, apps, creative ideas, and more to help make sure that no one leaves feeling lost After looking at survey results from past events, the thing that caused attendees to have a bad experience most often was getting lost and not knowing what to do or who to go to We don’t do enough to fix this
  16. We need to be putting more our time, energy, and resources into creating support hacking environments Code of conduct Reporting guidelines Tone of your event from the start of marketing it to months after it occurs The space and making sure everyone feels safe and comfortable in it How to make everyone feel included, not just diverse Having sponsors that believe in the same things you do as well as adding quality Organizers underestimate the amount of time it takes to create a supportive hacking environment It’s not just two or three people should work on, it is something everyone should be working on Last week I saw this tweet from the CTO of npm, the javascript package manager that some...
  17. Creating a support hacking environment is *really* hard It takes a lot of work to make two things that are mutually exclusive to be at least somewhat compatible
  18. It takes a lot of work to define your space clearly Being thoughtful takes time and organizers don’t do enough of introspective thinking about their events They want to make these cool, awesome things, but that’s isolating
  19. If you don’t have a supportive hacking environment, everything else means nothing Your random attractions, travel reimbursements, coolest venue, and shirts will be forgotten