How to run an OpenHatch sprint

This is a brief set of steps for anyone interested in getting people together to improve the OpenHatch codebase or web app project. It is based on The In-Person Event Handbook. We call these “sprints”, after the terminology at

Step 1: Figure out what you want to accomplish at the sprint

Some ideas for this can be found in the “What do you want to accomplish at this event?” section of The In-Person Event Handbook.

Step 2: Pick a date & venue

The date and venue go hand-in-hand, as you might have to reserve space. See the Bay Area Debian Shotgun Rules for good things to think about. Power and wifi and laptop-friendliness are especially important.

Step 3: Find funding (optional)

As of the time of writing (December 2013), the Python Software Foundation is happy to sponsor food. Visit the Python Sprints Call for Applications for information on how to apply. It’s nice to be able to say that food is sponsored, so people are more likely to attend.

In Asheesh’s opinion, if food sponsorship is asked-for but not yet confirmed, it’s fine to say in the announcement email that it’s pending confirmation.

Step 4: Figure out the maximum number of people we can support

Given the goals you set, perhaps we only have mentorship resources available for 4 newcomers or so. In that case, it’s best to ask people to RSVP to you, perhaps by creating an event page on or by asking people to send a personal email to the event organizer.

Step 5: Get the word out

You should definitely send an email to the OH-Dev mailing list. It’s also a good idea to send (even if brief) personal emails to OpenHatch contributors in your city.

Write your announcement in the style recommended by the Bay Area Debian Shotgun Rules.

Consider also Tweeting about it, or getting the blog to send your announcement, or sending an announcement to the Python Meetup in your city. (It is OK not to do that if you suspect it would result in more RSVPs than the event can support.)

Step 6: Read the In-Person Event Handbook and follow its instructions

Now is a great time to read the rest of The In-Person Event Handbook and think about follow-up processes, validating documentation, and the preferred modes of communication for attendees physically at the sprint.

Food sponsorship logistics notes

Typically, the Python Software Foundation (or any food sponsor) wants to see an itemized receipt with the food and drink items on it. If the sprint is at a venue where people typically order one item at a time, you can simplify life by leaving a tab open and having just one person pay the bill. Then that person can be the one to get reimbursed.

If a person with an OpenHatch Foundation card is around (such as Asheesh or Shauna), a good idea is to have that card be the one that pays the tab. Then the owner of that card is the only one who has to deal with the reimbursement logistics.