Developer Evangelist

timmesserschmidt

Toward an inclusive Hackathon culture

In the last few days there has been a vivid (and sadly also depressing) discussion about how to behave properly at tech events to ensure a great experience for everyone.

There have been posts like Hackathons are for Hacking by Cassidy Williams and The Future of Hackathons written by Jennifer Rubinovitz that are incredibly encouraging and tap into some of the problems that are surfacing right now.

Being part of the organization team behind BattleHack - PayPal’s global series of hackathons - I strongly encourage everyone to both provide and enforce a Code of Conduct. When introducing a CoC to our hacks we’ve been researching for “common patterns” and best practices for defining a proper ruleset for our attendees and discovered Conference Code of Conduct. My team member Cristiano Betta forked the project and started Hack Code of Conduct - a CoC tailored towards hackathons. Since this project got released into the wild we’ve seen incredible support from various event organizers and tech representatives.

Let’s continue to make hackathons and tech events a place where everybody is welcome. We should strongly encourage everybody who wants to be part of this ecosystem to provide and support a code of conduct for their events. Providing a code of conduct allows victims of discrimination and abuse a clear line of support and establishes that organisers are conscious of instances of people misbehaving - thus also becoming accountable for these actions.

Introducing Code of Conducts to events might not solve all the problems that the tech industry is facing right now but it definitely is a step into the right direction - event organizers acknowledging the problem and accepting responsibility for its resolution.


Using npm modules via GitHub

At most of the hackathons that I am attending for PayPal I see people running into the same issues with Node projects over and over again: a certain Node module they want to use (via npmjs.org) is faulty or doesn’t 100% do what they want to do and they have no idea how to change this.

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Summary Reaktor Dev Day

I’ve been to a lot of conferences, hacks and meetups this year and enjoyed most of them a lot. Most of these events were great and I got to know lots of great attendees and speakers. But quite frank: Reaktor Dev Day in Helsinki was over 9000! Here’s my summary of some great days spent in Helsinki.

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Node.js Tutorial

At PayPal one of the biggest efforts in the last few months was getting rid of the old architecture and revamping it by using modern techniques and frameworks like Node.js, Express and Dust.

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