[Planning] FOSS Hack 3.0

What is FOSS Hack?

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.

FOSS Hack 2020 and 2021

  • Online editions
  • Total ₹20L of cash prize
  • 4400+ participants
  • 210+ projects
  • Grant of ₹5L to Fika
  • Total 21 winners

Reports:

  1. FOSS Hack 2020
  2. FOSS Hack 2021

Announcing FOSS Hack 3.0

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.

Date options:

  1. 11th & 12th Feb 2023 or
  2. [Finalized] 25th & 26th Feb 2023

Venue:

  1. Bengaluru - YTD
  2. Virtual

Cash Prize: ₹10L

Join FOSS Hack 3.0 team

To be a part of the organizing team of the FOSS Hack 3.0, drop a message to our Telegram group.

For any feedback, please reply to this thread.

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I should add a field to capture the city of the volunteers to filter them for the offline event.

Update: I have reached out to RV University to host the offline participants.

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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?

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We will be happy to host the offline participants! - Sanjay Chitnis, RV Universitry

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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)?

[Minutes] FOSS Hack 3.0 Kickstart Call

Attended by : @WishArya @mriya11 @Sejal_Jain @Devdutt @nikochiko @Ganeshaaa @Krutika_Thakkannavar , Athul Cyriac, Neeraj Chawla

A draft of things that needs to be done :

  1. Website - Design and Development
  2. Setting the workgroups tracker :
    Outreach, Design / Illustration, Social Media, Sponsorship, Content, Logistics, Speakers, Diversity
  3. Seek sponsors
  4. Fixing the deadline
  5. Decide the timeline
  6. Fix budgets
  7. Check on logistics
  8. Pre-hackathon activities/campaigns: media campaigns.

Suggestions from the call :

  • Hackathon timings : 1 week v/s 36 hours
  • Make a forum for the people who need help from mentors (idea of a week prior start for them).
  • Promote contributions to already existing projects too.
    • Create a curated list of themes or tracks for eg:
      1. Open Innovation
      2. Contribution to existing projects.
  • Open thread for in-event ideas
  • Get an idea of FOSS Hack 2.0 projects, judging etc., from @knadh @Anand

Deliverables:

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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!

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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.

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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?

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Looks good! We had very few mentor-volunteers last time. This time, l hope we will have many more.

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Thinking through the requirements from design for Foss hack 2.0 | Link to sheet

Off the top of my head, we need:

  1. A website design like Fosshack 2021 - as source of truth for rules, sponsers, community partners and so on.

  2. Social posts for announcing
    2.1 Event details
    2.2 Mentor-volunteers
    2.3 Sponsors.

  3. Venue
    3.1 Event Schedule
    3.2 Signage

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 :wink:

@WishArya, @mriya11

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This sounds good. I’m working on a guideline. I will propose it in this thread soon!

We have @Devdutt, @Sejal_Jain and @nikochiko volunteering for the same to onboard mentors and speakers.

I have updated the sheet :}

Created a brief guideline. Let me know what all of you think.

Partner projects program

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?
    • the latter
  • 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.

How does this sound?

cc: @Devdutt @Sejal_Jain

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Sounds good. Let’s create a FAQ for this?

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Yup. I’ll get started, will try to complete it by tomorrow.

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[Minutes] FOSS Hack 3.0 Catchup | 03 Dec

  • Sponsor’s Deck - final checks

  • Venue and participant count - finalised.

  • Version 0.1 of the website is to be done shortly with the content created as of now.

    • Designs to be worked in parallel
  • FAQs to be created for FOSS Hack - offline and local versions.

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