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Call for hosts: Wikimedia Hackathon 2016
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Based on prior discussions, the goal is to announce the Wikimedia Hackathon 2016 in Lyon on 25 May, at the closure of the Wikimedia-Hackathon-2015.

In order to get there, we have some homework to do.

Meanwhile, potential candidates can start doing their homework taking https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Hackathons as reference.

Event Timeline

Qgil raised the priority of this task from to Medium.
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Qgil added subscribers: Qgil, Rfarrand.

Very good! I think the prose we needed is already there.

Now, about the format. I have converted the "More hackathons" section in the intro of "Proposing a hackathon". @Spage kind of suggested somewhere that Proposing a hackathon could be a different page, since it targets a very specific audience. I agree. The section "Proposing a hackathon" could be converted into a subpage.

Note posted here because I could not find a better place. When the new host is decided, we should start with T89334: A mailing list for hackathon organizers.

We need to improve our evaluation criteria, so they are known and objective. For instance, organization costs, and estimation of travel costs based on i.e. the number and origins of participants in Zürich, Amsterdam, and what we know about Lyon. Experience of the organizers, venue, expected visa requirements, etc.

@Qgil,

This might be off topic -
We corresponded with you and Rachel (@Rfarrand) about opening a Phabricator task for our hackathon application.

Is there an appropriate project / task opened so far that we can piggyback on? Or should we write our proposal in a new task?

Thanks, Ido & Michal & Itzik

@Alleycat80: Feel free to create a new task and associate the Developer-Advocacy project for the time being (we can sort out further details afterwards)

Out of curiosity, as I didn't found a page talking about that - Who is deciding about the location of next year event? What are the criteria? Wikimania for example have very clear ones, and a transparent community decision.

@Itzike, see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Hackathons/Proposing_a_hackathon#Selection_process. The criteria are posted there. @Rfarrand and me are ultimately responsible of the decision. We ask openly for feedback, paying special attention to former Wikimedia Hackathon organizers, and the Wikimedia Foundationś Community Engagement and Travel teams.


Unrelated to the above, both events are being proposed way before the usual slot during May:

I'm not sure whether this is good or bad (especially with Wikimania being proposed by the end of June). @Rfarrand, what's your opinion?

After a lot of analysis, thoughts, and discussions, the Developer-Advocacy team is happy to announce the first details of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2016:

Jerusalem, 7-10 April 2016

Organized by Wikimedia Israel -- T96826

This decision also means that we have to decline the proposal by Wikimedia Austria to organize the event in Vienna (T98017). This has been a very difficult decision, because both proposals are strong and sound, and we have no doubt that the option of Vienna would have worked out well too. We want to thank WMAT for all the effort put in their proposal, and we encourage them to pursue the organization of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017.

We have followed a public selection process and we have taken the decision by consensus together with the previous organizers of the Wikimedia Hackathon. You can find our analysis in this spreadsheet, and here is the summary:

Points where Jerusalem score strongly

  • We encourage diversity of locations, and Jerusalem is a very different proposal compared to all our previous Wikimedia Hackathons, which have been hosted in the EU.
  • The point above is especially stronger in 2016, when Wikimania and its hackathon will be hosted in Esino Lario (Italy), less than 800 km away, less than three months after the Wikimedia Hackathon.

Points where both options score equally

  • A solid and experienced organizer team.
  • An active chapter with capacity to reach out to local developer communities and obtain institutional support.
  • An interesting venue for an interesting hackathon.
  • Both cities are international touristic destinations, and the venues are located in safe neighborhoods close to main attractions. Where Vienna wins in general safety / predictability, Jerusalem provides a very different flavor to visitors, distinct from previous locations.
  • Both organizers have plans to allow zero cost travel for sponsored participants, including meals and social events during the hackathon.

Points where Vienna score strongly

  • For the usual profiles of the Wikimedia Hackathon, Vienna is closer and cheaper, but the differences are not that big and were not considered blockers.
  • Even if both locations won't require visa to most of the participants, entering and exiting Israel is more complex, and some participants probably will not be allowed to fly. We must compensate this weakness engaging with other developer groups that haven't attended our events in previous years, reaching as much as possible to i.e. Asian and African communities. We also plan to coordinate our travel sponsorship programs for the Wikimedia Hackathon and Wikimania's hackathon, assuring that all remarkable applicants have the option to participate in at least one of these events.
  • Vienna follows the model of a single venue for the event and accommodation that has proven successful in our last editions. Jerusalem offers a very interesting venue and a very interesting hostel for accommodation (scoring high in travel websites), and both are at a 30 minute distance walking (less than 3 km, close to the main attractions, shuttles are planned, but we must discuss the details further).

We fully understand that the option of Jerusalem implies more risks than Vienna, but our selection process welcomes explicitly a reasonable dose of risk. We introduced this factor to give a chance to alternative locations, instead of following a safe itinerary through European hubs and mainstream locations. Being bold is part of the Wikimedia essence, Wikimedia Israel has been bold proposing the organization of this key event, and we are supporting them looking forward to a memorable Wikimedia Hackathon 2016.