Contributed by deanna on from the it-all-started-here dept.
So being able to put faces to names is a big thing for me.
However, the biggest benefits from a hackathon come from being in the same room as everyone else for a week. It gives me a chance to focus on the code fulltime. In real life i only get to hack on openbsd in my spare time, and that seems to be an ever decreasing resource (see www.oxide.org/cvs/ for proof). Being able to sit in a room with headphones on for a week straight really lets me get my mind in the right space.
Also, as part of OpenBSD's usual process of development, we try to get oks from each other as a way of verifying the code before we commit it. For me that process can take days. I usually hack something up in the evening, mail it round for people on the other side of the world to read, and go to bed. I get up in the morning with feedback, I go to work, come home, and deal with the feedback. Then I send it out again and sleep. That keeps repeating till i have an ok and i get to commit the code.
At a hackathon that process is sped up. By orders of magnitude. The people i need to get feedback from are a table away, and because we're awake at the same time we can talk. Because we can talk we get to do away with the delicate process of writing email that doesn't offend each other, so the exchanges last minutes instead of days.
Finally it is good to be able to work with people who all have the same attitude toward code, and who are there to code. It is surprisingly difficult to get a group discussion about anything to happen, unless you suggest food and beer. I guess it is hard to code when you're holding a glass.
-- David Gwynne, dlg@
The new hackathons page is http://www.openbsd.org/hackathons.html.
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