A yearly hackathon organized by FOSS United Foundation to promote Free and Open Source Software by bringing together professionals and students to build or extend FOSS projects. Every year we create a pool of ₹10L cash for the winners.
We’re quite happy to see the success of the first two editions of FOSS Hack and want to announce the 3rd edition of FOSS Hack with the same goal, the creation of quality FOSS in India.
FOSS Hack 3.0 is going to be more engaging as in-person events have started all over the country. This means we can organize this edition as a hybrid edition, offline + online. FOSS United will host the offline hackathon in Bengaluru. You can also join the hackathon virtually from any part of India.
How exactly will the interaction between offline and virtual event be like? I am asking this question, keeping in mind that there is an opportunity of have multiple offline locations across multiple cities. Do you think this idea would be worth exploring?
I’m curious as to what are the suggestions from FOSS Hack 2.0 judges, regarding the quality of projects and how to direct incentives for participants to better contribute towards FOSS(in a sustainable manner).
Here are a few ideas for your consideration:
Enabling mentors to recruit contributors from newbie participants
Creating separate tracks and prizes, one for new projects and one for contributions to established projects
Allowing established projects to pitch in with bounties for the best contributions
Some other questions that this brings to mind are:
How to judge impact made with contributions to existing projects vs starting new projects
How to judge code contributions vs UI/UX design vs documentation(would the impact that better documentation brings to a project matter to the judges)?
I love the idea, but I think it will be a logistical nightmare if we were to organise the multi-city model all by ourselves. We could have participants self organize their own sites to facilitate other online participants from their location, but there are associated concerns regarding participant safety and the like, so we’d also need to make it clear that such arrangements are done completely autonomously.
But it is completely plausible that, say a college FOSS Cell decides to open up their facilities for participants to come and hack from their venue and the participants would in my opinion have a blast!
We post guidelines and examples for the kind of projects that are encouraged, list down do’s and dont’s. This year, we can post the winning projects from the last two years. That should give participants a reasonable picture of the kind of quality to aim for. The submissions will always be a mixed bag though, which is fine.
Absolutely. This should run fully decentralised. I think what we could do is create a page with a few bullet point guidelines and share it with institutions / student clubs. MEC Kochi, IGDTUW Delhi, Reva Bangalore, RV Bangalore, TinkerHub community etc. come to mind who may be interested.
Had a call with @Sejal_Jain on how we are planning to handle FOSS Hack Talks and Mentorship programs
We plan on scheduling talks a week prior to the conference, in fully online mode with some talks being scheduled during the hack weekend to be streamed from the venue, for the convenience of remote participants(focused workshops?).
Sejal will start looking out for interesting speakers(keeping a bias towards people from diverse backgrounds) and also contact organizers of events such as Hill Hacks and Anthill Hacks to figure out how we an integrate remote communities into the program, providing them a ground to represent the work they are doing at the fringes of society.
We need to open a form for FOSS maintainers and people who are interested in mentoring participants through the mentorship program and probably revive https://t.me/first_commit for a full on mentorship program where we can connect people in sub groups there to the right maintainer or resource person and have them get started in their contributor journeys. Mentors need not be at the venue and even for offline teams we can connect them to the relevant mentor via tg.
We are yet to figure out the timelines for FOSS Hack CFP for talks, but we think it’d be better get started ASAP and have the form out along with the website.
Are there any thoughts or suggestions for these ideas or does it look like we are good to go?
Thinking through the requirements from design for Foss hack 2.0 | Link to sheet
Off the top of my head, we need:
A website design like Fosshack 2021 - as source of truth for rules, sponsers, community partners and so on.
Social posts for announcing
2.1 Event details
3.1 Event Schedule
Is there anything i missed ?
To kick things off - can we use the same template as foss hack 2021 and make change to graphics for 22 ? There’s a lot of ai art generaters out today - we can try and use some clever prompts to make our banners
In the previous two editions, most projects that built during the hackathon were new PoCs. For example in 2021, there was only contribution to an existing project.
Most likely, the reason for this is that it takes time to become familliar with an open source project. And then finding something meaningful that the maintainers would want is another challenge. A mentorship program would prove helpful in this case.
These conditions should be met from the program:
participants should have enough time to become familiar with the project and make a non-trivial contribution
participants should get adequate mentorship. contributing to a new project is tough, this process should be eased by the mentor, maybe by pairing on some smaller issues.
mentors should have incentives to participate
they shouldn’t be spammed with PRs of shallow fixes
there should be a chance that these participants come back to contribute again
perhaps certificates or monetary compensation?
We need to take a call on these decisions:
Are participants allowed to start work on the project before the hackathon? Or can they only pair on some other issues during that time?
How many participants can one organization take on for mentorship?
open participation? participants are free to move to another org if they feel that one org is too saturated.
How long before the hackathon do we match mentors and participants?
we can ask mentors to commit some time each day (1-2 hrs?) for the duration of the mentorship program (5 days) to onboard participants and for code review. And then some more during the event.
we should allow participants to hop on for mentorship later too (for example, in case their first picked project is too complicated for them).
What do we expect from mentors?
Some time commitment each day - for onboarding and code review
Some "good first issue"s for getting familiar with the codebase
Some non trivial issues that can potentially be used for the hackathon. Mentors can decide if they want to reserve these issues for the hackathon or allow work on it on the days leading up to it.
If the judges want to know about the significance of some contribution, they should talk to the mentors about it.