Re: #evaluation #evaluation

Massimo Pizzol

Sorry for the delay. 11 responses, see below.


Worked well. We should continue doing…


•             I guess slack was really easy to work with all participants across different channels. I wonder if this will remain the point of contact as we continue working


•             (I was working remotely) - Keeping high the level of ambition. Gives me great motivation. - Involving people with different background and expertise. Extremely enriching. I learnt a lot just listening and seeing how others work. - Have working groups with respective leaders and repositories. It felt good to know that somebody had a clear overview of what was needed for a specific little project and could assign specific tasks, and that the little project was contributing to something bigger. - Working on exiobase. Since it's a large database I think is a good test case even though working with it has some challenges for the same reason. - Use slack for chatting during the hackathon. - Using github issues as a way to set the agenda and priorities. In general the whole github setting was great. +1! - Zoom meetings on fridays (or regularly). - Doing hackathons. More was produced in a week than in 2 months of talk via mail. We need to continue searching for funding for this.


•             Experts from different disciplines work together in charge activities based on their experience and knowledge. Organisers identified a set of deliverable that enable taking advantage of member expertise. Also, location was very comfortable (Barcelona). To have a good weather is important.


•             Weekly meeting; Slack; use of GitHub project board; Remote participation meeting were needed sometimes, but not all the time (it was good to cancel some);


•             Communicate openly, allow a space for everyone to contribute according to their capabilities.


•             It went fine. Sometimes, the coordination of tasks was a bit unclear, but I think it is understandable given the circumstances (some participants worked remotely). A lot of work has been achieved, so it is a sign that the event was productive. It should be reproduced periodically, I think.


•             Use open source platforms like Dribdat


•             In-person hackathons - Ambitious goals that inspire people - Organizing before the hackathon


•             Morning meetings summing up work that needs to be done and status updates.


•             slack, zoom meetings and the end and beggining of the day, python skeleton.


•             We should continue work in small working groups, it is easier to known what and how do to required tasks.




Didn’t work. We should stop doing…


•             Probably the fact that we have too many platforms and the first few days I took a while to navigate all the different platform.


•             (I was working remotely) - Bad audio on the zoom meetings during the hackathon, should really be improved. Decent mic and video highly needed. - Spreading same discussion on multiple channels. Between slack chat, mails, github issue comments, I spent a lot of time finding where something was discussed. Perhaps the criteria for when writing in one place or the other are not clear enough and should be specified. - I have been introduced to a lot of new tools during the process and now I experience a certain fatigue. I would be more parsimonious from now on. - Same as above, in the BONSAI github there has perhaps been an excessive proliferation of repos and issues, should be moderated a bit or at least set the priorities clear.


•             Short time between the invitation to participate and the start of the hackathon, I was full of activities in that time and did not have enough time to understand well my part. Ideally, the next call could be with at least two month in advance instead of one.


•             Discussions on GitHub issues were sometimes held in parallel with Slack.


•             Very long lunch breaks


•             Working remotely myself, I realized it was difficult at times. Next time, we should emphasize on the importance of having everyone physically present. Also, because of remote workers, some time was lost on online meetings, etc.


•             Don't stop


•             Separate website for hackathon progress tracking (hackathon.b.u) - In-person communication to resolve problems but not put on mailing list or Slack left outside people wondering what we were working on, what we had decided, etc. Could have a dedicated facilitator for this.


•             2 hours lunch breaks without discussing the lunch proposed discussion


•             lunch were nice but lunch time took too long.


•             In some parts, it was difficult to understand the full picture of how different groups interlink together.



Was missing. We should start doing...



•             Not missing but everyone must keep a check on general house keeping. With so much happening on each channel, proper documentation is a must to keep all participants on board


•             (I was working remotely) - I missed some more presentations. We focused on doing doing doing but not so much on updating the others. There were some short wrap-ups but perhaps given the people's different background this was not sufficient (my impression at least). I lost the overview easily of what was going on and what others had achieved. Would have been nice to see some screenshots of what was done with a short explanation. For example: instead of just saying "the code XXX for doing YYY is out" share screen, run the code and explain shortly the working principle and output, then remind how it fits in the big picture. Takes more time, but at least we are all on the same page. - Similar as above. I missed some housekeeping (for reproducibility) and pedagogic approaches to documentation. - Again on a similar line, I think we could have been more productive if we knew better what are the skills of various people. Because e.g. the WG leader knows who to ask a specific question or for a specific task. (A skill mapping survey was circulated now that I think about it, but I haven't seen the results) - Option to call others. It was just easier to talk to somebody and get a quick explanation of what to do instead of chatting. - OK this might seem stupid, but I would have preferred to have a PC in the room with the zoom meeting running continuously. Or a webcam. Just to understand where people are physically and what they are doing. From the slack chat only I got the idea you were on different room not talking to each other. - Outreach plus applications for funding based on this, sci papers, and conf pres.


•             More remote participation. A group of remote participants worked really well because I think they were able to understand well their tasks and identify the right way to communicate with other members. But there were also remote participants that could not identify tasks and their potential contribution diluted, which is a pity. So, better coordination with remote participants should be considered.


•             Remote participation : tricky to say what was missing; hologram for remote participants ;-)


•             Set some minor milestones during the hackaton to track actual progress. Stop a little bit earlier and *force* everyone documenting their daily work (especially for those remote)


•             Maybe we should set less ambitious goals next time, to favor work of better quality, as opposed to quantity.


•             Make it easier to contribute remotely through tidbit tasks


•             Could have separate smaller groups, each focused on a topic, in different locations. There weren't - The participant pool could be smaller, with a specific focus (model development, coding, documentation, ontology development) - Time for exercise/quiet alone time


•             celebrating milestones or other achievements (minor or amazing)


•             Consider existing power relationships within bonsai (e.g. supervisor/student, employer/employee). This comment is not only for the hackathon, but general to the bonsai project. Those in positions of power can (inadvertently) silence disagreement, which is not good. We should be aware of this when communicating and discussing.


  • I have no idea. I think that in overall things are moving forward.



From: <> on behalf of "Massimo Pizzol via Groups.Io" <massimo@...>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Wednesday, 3 April 2019 at 08.43
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [hackathon2019] #evaluation


Just a reminder about filling the evaluation form. Only 5 responded so far.


I guess everybody is taking a breath after the full-immersion of the hackathon…but evaluation is important to improve the process and I believe the organisers would really appreciate a feedback.


I will let the form open for responses until Friday April 5th, at 12:00 and then upload the results on this discussion form.




From: <> on behalf of "Massimo Pizzol via Groups.Io" <massimo@...>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Friday, 29 March 2019 at 14.25
To: "" <>
Subject: [hackathon2019] #evaluation


Dear all


Here a simple evaluation form for the Hackathon.


It’s anonymous.


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