During the hackweek#

During the hackweek, participants will spend time with tutorials and with project work. The following is a suggested outline for daily check-in meetings. On the final day of the event, teams will want to set aside some time to gather material that they would like to share with the entire group to showcase what they worked on.

Day 1 of the hackweek: Getting started#

We facilitate a project team formation session on the first day of the hackweek. During this time we will finalize project goals and objectives. Hackweek organizers and facilitators will help each team set reasonable goals and develop a roadmap for task completion. The checklist below can be used for the first team meeting to focus on team introductions, reviewing the project scope, and identifying tasks.

  • Team introductions:

    • Introduce yourself and what interests you about this project

    • What are your unique learning goals?

    • How do you work best? What level of group interaction works for you?

    • What skills and background are you most excited to share with the team?

    • When are you available for team check-in meetings or group work sessions?

  • This is also a good time to review the event code of conduct and discuss as a team:

    • How is the team going to communicate?

    • How is the team going to discuss ideas and make decisions?

    • How are tasks going to be assigned?

  • Identify connections between each participant’s personal goals and the specific project tasks

    • List the tasks that will need to be done (starting with any that the project leader may have already identified)

    • All team members are encouraged to contribute here. All ideas and perspectives are needed.

    • Identify any clusters of common tasks or tasks that must be completed sequentially

    • Team members volunteer for tasks that match their personal goals and interests, identify opportunities for working in pairs or small groups

    • Identify if any tasks require skills or knowledge that the current team does not yet have (the project team helper may be able to connect you with someone to provide those skills or knowledge)

example of identifying tasks and organizing them into clusters
  • Set up team organization infrastructure on Slack and GitHub (see Organizing your project on GitHub)

  • Project work begins!

    • As progress is made, project outputs (code, notebooks, figures, documentation, etc.) are recorded in the team’s GitHub repository (a good place for team members to get started is by making their own folder under the contributors directory)

  • All team members check back in at the end of the day, review progress towards tasks, anything preventing progress, and planned next steps

  • Project leaders may also want to share with the whole hackweek group: How the project is coming along, what are the objectives and tasks identified by the team today, and what other skills might your team need to be successful?

Days 1 - 5: Project work#

A “stand up” meeting model may be useful for your team to check in at the beginning and end of each day of the hackweek. During these short meetings, each team member is given a minute or so to briefly share 1) progress they have made on their tasks, 2) anything preventing progress, and 3) what they plan on working on next.

  • Begin each day with a team meeting to discuss:

    • Progress made on the previous day

    • Anything preventing progress

    • Tasks for this day

  • Check back in at the end of the day:

    • Progress made today

    • Anything preventing progress

    • Planned next steps for tomorrow

Organizing this information on a four-column chart (ideas, in progress, need help, done) with sticky notes (or a virtual chart) may be useful, such as the example below.

example of using sticky notes to keep track of project progress

Day 5: Sharing results#

  • Begin the day with a team meeting to discuss:

    • Progress made on the previous day

    • Anything preventing progress

    • Tasks for this day

    • Decide what time to stop work and organize material to present

  • Organize material to present (push changes to repository, update README, etc.)

  • Each team will have about 15 minutes to present all the things you did and learned during the week, recognize and celebrate individual contributions to the group effort, what challenges arose, what might be worth trying next