We’ve gotten a few questions around team formation. In general, we don’t have specific rules on team size or composition but we think that 3-6 people per team is a productive size and we encourage teams to be half women and half men. There are no penalties for a mono-gender team but we believe you’re making a statement by attending Hack’n Jill. So if you form a team of 5 Jacks, um, great, but you’re sort of missing the point.
Okay those are the guidelines but really, how are you going to find 3-6 people for your team??
We think that finding a team can be one of the most awkward, uncomfortable aspects of the whole hackathon experience. No one wants to be “dead weight” or to work with elitist, unhelpful teammates. Additionally, it can be hard to pitch yourself without sounding like a knucklehead or used car salesman.
We’re trying two things to make team formation better. First, to encourage a culture of civility and collaboration, we’ve adopted two rules from Hacker School: no “well actuallys” and no feigning surprise.
Second, we decided to start our hackathon with a Friday night event so that people will have more time and less pressure to meet and mingle. We think you should like who you’re working with and what you’re working on. You shouldn’t have to humblebrag all night or jump on the first idea you hear. We’d much rather you enjoy the free food, drinks, and API demos — and find people you want to work with organically. Want to share ideas? Tweet at our live feed. Need a conversation starter? We’ll have a quick ice-breaker game after the API demos (winner gets to pick their spot in the demo order!).
Anyway, we hope this makes team formation a little more fun, and a little less like an awkward game of middle-school kickball. By the end of Friday night, you should have a good idea of who’s on your team and what you’ll be working on. Of course, you can also wait until Saturday morning to make a decision, but your options and time will be much more limited.
The schedule for Friday night is:
7:00 PM – Registration
7:30 PM – Kickoff and Intros
8:00 PM – API Demos
9:00 PM – Ice Breakers, Team Formation
See you there!