Preparation tips for organizers of local Drupal Global Sprint Weekend 2016 sprints

Submitted by YesCT on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 07:50


My previous post describes how you can list your local sprint as part of Drupal Global Sprint Weekend. This year it is January 30 and 31, 2016, and so far we have 24 locations all over the world. (There is still time to add your small local sprint. Read the post and get your sprint listed!).

Drupical map filtered to just purple sprint pins showing 24 locations


Here are some things you can do to prepare for organizing and hosting your local sprint.

Verify your location

Double check that the location you selected for your sprint has the space reserved for you, with the start and stop time you want. Make arrangements for a key or access to the space.

Make a list of what your sprint needs, like: tables, chairs, internet, and outlet strips. And depending on your type of sprint, maybe also include: drinks, snacks, lunch, paper, pens, markers, tape, signs, and whiteboards.

Verify that what the location will provide. Get the WiFi password. Verify what you will need to bring, and think about what you will ask participants to bring.

Update your announcements

Check your event (and blog,, or other post) and make sure the details are complete and accurate. Verify the location, date, and time. Make sure it includes a description of who is welcome and what attendees need to bring with them.

Decide on a topic

Not all locations need to sprint on the same topic. I recommend working on whichever project your most experienced contributor prefers. Sprinting on 7.x issues for contrib projects is a good idea. Porting a contrib project to 8.x is also a priority. For Drupal Core, there is lots to do on Drupal 8 still: reviewing, testing, and fixing bugs, especially bugs blocking porting contrib projects, API documentation, and the documentation User Guide for Drupal 8.

Reach out to local people who are experienced contributors or maintainers for the project you will sprint on. Let them know you plan to have a sprint on that topic. Invite them to the sprint. If they have time, talk to them about what would be good tasks for the sprint.

How many people are you expecting?

If you have fewer people signed up to attend then you were hoping for, make an announcement in your local user group, and in your company inviting people, ask if anyone has questions about sprinting, and remind them to sign up. Send notes to specific people and ask them to attend. (People respond to personal invitations.)

If you have more people signed up than you were expecting, you will need a little bit more preparation. Read the handbook page: Resources for sprint planners. It has estimates for WiFi needs, and contact information for increasing the limit of connections allowed from a single IP address to freenode IRC. For many people, you will also want to have some experienced people (mentors) that can help with newer sprinters. Send messages to experienced sprinters in advance making sure they will attend and ask them if they are willing to spend part of their time helping others. Estimate one mentor per four to eight other sprinters.

Tell people (again)

When people see a first announcement, they will think to themselves, "Oh, yeah. I should do that. I'll sign up later." When they see a second announcement, they remember they meant to take action. When they see a third, they think, "I've forgotten twice. I'll do it right now so I don't forget again." Reminders are good. People like them.

Make a comment on your event, send a announcement, post a link in your local IRC or slack channel, tweet (use the #SprintWeekend hash tag), etc.

What next?

As we get even closer to the event, I'll share some tips for how to prepare the issues for participants to work on. For now, go update (or make) your g.d.o event and tell people about it! :)


Have questions?

Tweet using the #SprintWeekend hash tag, post a comment on the g.d.o wiki page, ask in the Mentoring Group, or ask in IRC in #drupal-contribute. -Cathy (YesCT)