[UA-discuss] Hackathon @ ICANN55

Jordyn Buchanan jordyn at google.com
Fri Nov 13 00:00:09 UTC 2015

Hey all:

I have two thoughts on this:

1) I like to periodically go back to thinking about the UASG as a
coordinating body.  Given that general statement of principle/purpose, it
seems like the goal here should be to see if we can find someone who knows
how to do hackathons and have them host it with some level of support and
awareness-raising from the UASG.  Maybe that could be a local university or
tech company.  If we find ourselves in the position that we're putting on a
hackathon as opposed to helping to support one, I'd suggest that we're
losing sight of the coordination role and it's going to be hard to scale up
UA efforts if we expect the UASG to have to be doing most of the heavy

2) Before we really answer the question of whether a hackathon in Marrakech
makes sense (as a way for us to invest our time and money), versus a
hackathon somewhere else, I think a good question to think about is what
sorts of projects we expect the hackers to be hacking away at.  While it's
true that there's some engineers at ICANN meetings, they tend to be focused
on systems/network infrastructure.  So if our goal, for example, to create
some cool javascript that allowed for proper right-to-left domain handling
and conversion to punycode, I'd guess we wouldn't have a lot of the right
people at the meeting to be strong contributors to this effort.  On the
other hand, folks may be able to articulate some class of problem that we
do want to hack away at and where we think we'll have the right folks on
site.  If so, that's great, but we should clearly articulate what we're
after and, to Mike's point, consider bringing in some people who are going
to be really strong coders and idea generators to make sure we have a
nucleus of hackers to build around.

Pulling together, what I'd hate to see is a
hackathon-for-the-sake-of-a-hackathon that ends up not being successful and
discourages future UA technical efforts along these same lines.  I really
want to see these sorts of hackathons take place, but I want to make sure
we're getting the most bang for buck out of the effort this group will
invest into making it happen.


On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 12:52 AM, Mike Silber <mike.silber at icann.org> wrote:

> Rubens and Don +1
> The ccNSO / ccTLD community have a tech day. Try not to overlap and engage
> with the organizers and coordinate as far as possible. Don't expect too
> much though.
> Regional IDN ccTLDs are a great place to start.
> Avoid the corporate communications machine from getting hold of this and
> turning it into something it is not. Under promise (or don't promise at
> all) and over deliver.
> While no one should be excluded, ensure invitations and communications
> make it clear that this is a technical engagement and policy discussions
> happen elsewhere.
> Consider travel funding specifically for this. To me the criteria would be
> technical skill and regional location!
> Just my 2c (and at current exchange rates that is about $0,0018) so take
> it for what it is worth.
> Mike
> > On 12 Nov 2015, at 02:18, Rubens Kuhl <rubens at registro.br> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> On Nov 11, 2015, at 9:20 PM, Don Hollander <don.hollander at icann.org>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Here’s my take on the Hackathon idea @ ICANN55:
> >>
> >> 1) ICANN is a technology conference and there would be few technology
> conferences of its size held in the region.
> >> 2) I note that ICANN is generally around policies, but there are still
> a lot of geeks there
> >
> > ccTLD activities at ICANN are usually of a more technical tone, and
> ccTLDs are the most used domains in the AF region, not gTLDs. Involving the
> local IDN ccTLDs might be key to attract more geeks.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Rubens
> >
> >
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