Hackfest Engagement Activities: Brainstorming Sessions and Lightning Talks

Tom Rondeau


Registration for the Hackfest is now open!

At a math research firm I worked at in Princeton a while back, we undertook focused, intense projects throughout the summer. With everyone so lasered-in on their work, we would hold “Brainstorming Sessions” a couple of times a week as a way to make sure everyone was up to speed on each other’s activities, interests, and research issues. These became lovingly referred to as BS Sessions. This was a good, usually short-and-sweet way to get ideas out there and make sure people who were working on the same problems could engage.

We will be using this same model at the Bay Area SDR Hackfest to give individuals and teams a way of communicating interests, problems, and successes throughout the week. So use these BS Sessions to brag about cool stuff going on or to get help from your fellow hackers. It’s a good opportunity to have a broader conversation with people. The Mission Teams might also be able to use these session for getting to know the talent in the Hacker Space or for directly engaging them by describing their own work and problems they are facing.

The BS Sessions are not meant to promote your past work, current employment interests, or company. We have another type of session—Lightning Talks dedicated—for those sorts of communications. The Lightning Talks are more structured that BS Sessions, and we expect the presenters of these five-minute talks to be more prepared than is required for a one- or two-minute BS Session talk. We are asking that attendees sign up on the Hackfest registration site for a Lightning Talk slot ahead of time. Lightning talk speakers are welcome to bring slides, other media, and physical materials to show off during their talk. This is a more formal engagement for the crowd and for a very different purpose than the BS Sessions.

More info on the BS Sessions and Lightning Talks