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My Ironman Status

The Hackday Proposals

This year for the North West England Perl Mongers Hackday (Hackday Proposals) we decided to choose a new project to work on. Last year we worked on the EPO’s Ironman codebase as covered in this excellent article by Ian Norton, this year we decided to vote on which project to do next.

We therefore had a meeting at the excellent Madlab in Manchester (thanks once again to them for hosting us at their venue).

I have/had a different plan and made the proposal Why Aim So Low, which I have included below for your casual perusal, which was a spur to get more involvement in our hackday and to revitalise/expand the existing projects we have lying about us. During the voting process it was decided to adopt Why Aim So Low with the proviso that we ensure there is one main project to work on and that the others are etxra and not part of the main thrust of the day. This ensures we don’t tackle too much while enabling us to carry on with projects such as PP and Ironman (see below).

As for which projects I personally promoted, well I asked if we could carry on the sterling work with Ironman/Ironboy and turn them into the all.things.per.ly project we had initially discussed, I also asked for more work to be done on PresentingPerl.org to make it a better site and experience and to complete the goals that mst and I had for it when we started the project in January 2010. It was decided that Ironman was in a maintenance/improvement mode and that we should add features separate to the hackday, whereas Presenting Perl didn’t quite make the cut.

The Presentation and Votes

The winner of the evening was the project titled Oyster, presented by Osfameron, who gave a slick and well judged presentation that wowed us all. We will be aiming to make a slim proof of concept version for the hackday as the project, like Ironboy/Ironman will most likely turn into an ongoing project.

The next stage of the process is for us to put details on the nwe.pm wiki so that on the day we should have all the projects that were presented on the wiki page and hope to encourage people to come and hack with us on the main project while also allowing people who main have the time/skill/want/chutzpa to pick an extra feature to add from an existing project or join in the general madness.

We were asked if we could stream the evening and voting process to allow our non-present friends to view and vote but this was not possible at the last minute. We have taken this on board and if this year is a success (which I have no real doubts about) then we shall endeavour to do remote (postal) voting next year.

Two other surprising events occurred…

Matt S. Trout has said we should have a competition to close some of the Perl Bugz that are actually arteafacts in the system. Bugs that may have been reported for a previous version of Perl that are no longer in the current version, or bugs that are nothing to do with Perl. He suggested that other Monger Groups might want to join in and make it a friendly competition whereby you see how many tickets you can close and we have a league table (I guess with handicaps based on experience/numbers?). We voted yes to that.

Iain Hubbard suggested the Hackday Inna Box, which is a tracking system that would help to organise and report on Hackdays. He foolishly said it would be a great tool to have at the hackday, meaning a future one, but we capitalised on that and agreed it would be a great tool to have so we will try to implement a version 1.0 (or being Perl 0.1) for the hackday this year.

nwe.pm co-Leader Ian Norton models a whiteboard

So, I would like to thank all those who took part in the technical meeting and vote tonight. Look forward to seeing people at the next meeting, and formally invite you all to join us at the SC offices in Lancaster, or from your own location of choice for the 2010 North West England Perl Mongers Hackday on the 20th November, be there or be an uninteresting shape of choice.

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Why Aim So Low?

(Hackday Proposal by Mark Keating)

In the past 18 months the Mongers of North West England have proven that we can achieve a great deal and be a progressive forward-thinking group despite our size and vast geographical region.

The hackday in 2009 was a success, sure we had some teething issues and learned a great deal as pointed out in Ian Norton’s excellent blog post on the event.

This year we have decided to take on a new project for our hackday, and tonight we are hearing proposals and voting upon them.

But I say:

Why Aim So Low

Why Aim So Low – We can achieve more this year

Why Aim So Low – As to choose only one project

Why Aim So Low – to think we can’t keep old projects alive by refreshing them with new features or new looks and directions

Why Aim So Low – as to think we are alone, when we know we have pulled in people from afar

Why Aim So Low – We haven’t done so in the past.

I would like, and have already started to encourage a broader scope for our hackday. Last year we had friends join us from afar in our global channel, I say this year we grab more.

I say this year we grab as many people as we can from all over the world, to join our projects or to hack on their own if they wish.

I say this year we put the challenge out to the global Monger groups to join with us on our hackday and to compete against each other if they so wish as to how many of the project items we place on our wiki they can complete.

There is an issue with taking on too much, of not doing triage on ideas and projects. But I say that every project that already exists deserves a place on our project wiki, every project needing tweaking and feature adding that we can get involved with should be on there.

Yes, let’s vote on a new project to add.

Yes, let’s consider tasking ourselves with more than one thing to do on the day.

Yes, let’s show the way.

And let us never, ever consider aiming low, as in the past we have always aimed so high.

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-ttfn – Mark

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