Zurihac, a Haskell hackathon hosted this time in Zurich by Google, has just ended. This was the biggest Haskell hackathon so far, bringing together over 80 hackers from Europe and nearby continents.
Here are some links:
- twitter: #zurihac
- Some photos by David Anderson (the only photos of Hackathon itself, because taking photos at Google was prohibited)
- Summary by Johan Tibell, one of organizers
- Summary by Sergey Astanin. It is in Russian, but I give this link because I agree with him on most of his points.
No doubt organization of such event is a great work, and we all are grateful to organizers for Zurihac becoming reality. But still I'd like to highlight some things which IMO were not thought out enough. Hopefully this list will be useful for future Hackathons organizers.
- Accomodation Joachim Breitner wrote:
ok, there seems to be a relatively large number of people staying at the Backpackers. Maybe we can arrange with the hostel that they know about this conference. Then we can register individually and they can just put us together in rooms? Might be more efficient that finding groups of four ourselves. Maybe the local team can talk to them and put information about that on the wiki?Unfortunately, this wasn't done.
- Food There were two issues.
First, it was too many of us to fit into one restaurant. What could be done: make a wiki page; list some nearby restaurants; make people organize themselves more or less uniformly. What was done: we were just told not to go altogether to the one place.
Another problem: some (most?) of the restaurants were closed on Sunday. I believe that it might be easier just to call nearby restaurants and find out which are open; then repeat the procedure described above. In contrast, we were told «go there; and if it is closed, well, go somewhere else»
- Power plugs It was a surprise for most of us that Switzerland has different powerplugs than the rest of Europe. Fortunately, the issue was resolved (personally I thank Simon Meier for lending a cable), but it would nice if we knew about problem in advance. (For instance, organizers of Utrecht hackathon last year kindly reminded us of the possible problems).
- Duration This hackathon was almost twice as short as the Utrecht one (20 hours against 36 last year).
- Talks For some reason, talks and demos were postponed to the Sunday evening (they were scheduled for 16.30 and if I recall correctly began around 17.00. As a result, people who had to leave early (due to their flights/trains) missed the talks.
- Registration This one is not addressed to organizators directly, but rather to attendees. At the moment there are only 57 attendees on the wiki. It's only about 70% of the total number of registered participants. I'd like that coverage to be bigger.
So, once again — Hackathon is held, code is written and talks are given. Only these little things, when done, make a nice feeling that you are cared for. So please, next time, try to do them ;-)
It would be also interesting to hear other opinions from attendees and organizers.