shmoo                                                           C. Eckel
Internet-Draft                                             Cisco Systems
Intended status: Informational                               27 May                               9 July 2021
Expires: 28 November 2021 10 January 2022

                       Running an IETF Hackathon


   IETF Hackathons encourage the IETF community to collaborate on
   running code related to existing and evolving Internet standards.
   This document provides a set of practices that have been used for
   running IETF Hackathons.  These practices apply to Hackathons in
   which both in-person and remote participation are possible with
   adaptations for Hackathons that are online only.

Discussion Venues

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   Discussion of this document takes place on the Stay Home Meet Only
   Online Working Group mailing list (, which is
   archived at

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at

Status of This Memo

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   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on 28 November 2021. 10 January 2022.

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   Copyright (c) 2021 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Timing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.1.  Agenda  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.2.  Hackdemo Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     2.3.  Code Lounge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.4.  Code Sprint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.5.  Online Only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   3.  Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.1.  Sponsorship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.2.  Expenses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
       3.2.1.  In-person Event Expenses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
       3.2.2.  Remote Participation Expenses . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   4.  Project Presentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     4.1.  Project Pitches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     4.2.  Results Summaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
       4.2.1.  Templates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     4.3.  Upload to GitHub  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     4.4.  Presenting in Person  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     4.5.  Presenting Remotely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   5.  Tooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     5.1.  Datatracker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     5.2.  IETF Website  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       5.2.1.  Hackathon Webpage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       5.2.2.  Meeting Webpage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     5.3.  Registration  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       5.3.1.  Participant List  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       5.3.2.  Caps on Registrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     5.4.  Meeting Wiki  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       5.4.1.  Hackathon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       5.4.2.  Lost and Found  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
       5.4.3.  Results Presentation Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
       5.4.4.  In Person Only  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
       5.4.5.  Online Only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     5.5.  Mailing List  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
       5.5.1.  Hackathon Chairs Email Alias  . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     5.6.  GitHub  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     5.7.  Meetecho  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     5.8.  Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
       5.8.1.  Remote Networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
     5.9.  Webex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
     5.10. Gather  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
   6.  Statistics and Metrics  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
     6.1.  IETF Survey Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
     6.2.  Hackathon Survey Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   7.  Roles and Responsibilities  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     7.1.  Hackathon Chair(s)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     7.2.  Secretariat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
     7.3.  Sponsor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
     7.4.  Champions of Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     7.5.  IETF LLC, Director of Communications and Operations (was
           ISOC) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     7.6.  Judges  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   8.  Implementation Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   9.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
     9.1.  Privacy Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   10. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24  25
   Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24  25
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24  25

1.  Introduction

   IETF Hackathons encourage the IETF community to collaborate on
   running code related to existing and evolving Internet standards.
   IETF Hackathons aim to:

   *  Advance the pace and relevance of IETF standards activities by
      bringing the speed and collaborative spirit of open source
      development into the IETF

   *  Bring developers and young people into IETF and get them exposed
      to and interested in the IETF

   IETF Hackathons are free to attend and open to everyone.  Software
   developers are the primary audience, but participation by subject
   matter experts who are not necessary developers is encouraged and
   very important as well.  Similarly, while the Hackathon is meant to
   attract newcomers and those who do not typically view themselves as
   standards people, long time IETF contributors, including Internet-
   Draft authors, working group chairs, and subject matter experts, are
   key participants as well.  Group dynamics and blending of skillsets
   and perspectives are extremely valuable aspects of IETF Hackathons.

   In addition to the running code created and improved as a result of
   each Hackathon, the exchange or ideas, extensions of human networks,
   and establishment of trust, respect, and friendships are some of the
   most valuable outputs of each Hackathon.  Code written in a
   programming language can be more illustrative and less
   confrontational than opinions expressed during a meeting or in an
   email.  Working together to find common understanding of proposals,
   concerns, and solutions that result in improvements to evolving
   Internet standards is as important as the development of running code
   that implements or validates the correctness of these same proposals.

   Consequently, IETF Hackathons are collaborative events, not
   competitions.  Any competitiveness among participants is friendly and
   in the spirit of advancing the pace and relevance of new and evolving
   Internet standards.

   This document provides a set of practices that have been used for
   running IETF Hackathons.

2.  Timing

   The first IETF Hackathon was held the weekend before the start of the
   IETF 92 meeting.  The rationale was to avoid conflicts yet make it
   relatively convenient for those attending the IETF meeting to
   participate in the Hackathon as well.  Holding the Hackathon on the
   weekend was also viewed as making it more accessible to non IETF
   meeting participants, including students and working professionals
   who would have other commitments during the week.  The weekend before
   was viewed as better than the weekend after so that things learned
   during the Hackathon could be shared and discussed with the rest of
   the IETF community during working group sessions and the like.  This
   worked well at IETF 92, was repeated at IETF 93, and quickly became
   an established norm with the IETF meeting being officially extended
   to include the Hackathon at the start.  An additional benefit of this
   timing noted and appreciated by participants is that it serves as a
   more informal and social way to physically and mentally acclimate to
   changes in time zones, surroundings, and subject matter.

2.1.  Agenda

   The IETF Hackathon is a strenuous event.  Though not a competition,
   participants want to make the most of their time together, much as
   with the IETF meeting in general.  Competitive Hackathons typically
   run non-stop for on the order of 40 hours.  There is a strict
   deadline and teams are judged and winners declared at the end.
   Afterward everyone is wiped out and heads off to briefly celebrate or
   commiserate, but mainly to recuperate.  As the IETF Hackathon serves
   as the start of the overall IETF meeting, we aim to strike a
   compromise that provides enjoy time to get valuable work accomplished
   without exhausting themselves before the main IETF meeting even
   starts.  While some people participate in the Hackathon only, the
   majority of people remain and plan to be actively engaged in the rest
   of the IETF meeting.

   The typical agenda is as follows:

   Saturday before IETF meeting week
       08:30: Room open for setup by project champions
       09:00: Room open for all - Pastries and coffee provided
       09:30: Hackathon kickoff
       09:45: Form Teams
       12:30: Lunch provided
       15:30: Afternoon break - Snacks provided
       19:00: Dinner provided
       22:00: Room closes

   Sunday before IETF meeting week
       08:30: Room opens - Pastries and coffee provided
       12:30: Lunch provided
       13:30: Hacking stops, prepare brief presentation of project
       14:00: Project presentations to other participants
       15:45: Closing remarks and opportunities for next time
       16:00: Hackathon ends
       17:00: Tear down complete

   The time on Saturday morning provides team champions time to setup
   and participants time to socialize and learn more about projects and
   team they might want to join.  The kickoff presentation and
   formalities are kept to minimum to leave as much time as possible for
   team to work together with their team on their projects.  The
   proximity of teams to each other fosters communication and
   collaboration across teams as well.

   Lunch and dinner are provided as a convenience and an incentive to
   remain at the Hackathon.  Participants are free to come and go as
   they like.  It is well understood and accepted that there are other
   things vying for time and that meeting with friends or colleagues
   outside of the Hackathon is an entirely reasonable thing to do.

   The room closes Saturday evening to give hotel staff unfettered
   access to the room and to encourage people to pace and take care of
   themselves.  There are no rules against continuing work on Hackathon
   projects outside of the Hackathon room.  Similarly, working on
   projects long before and after the Hackathon is allowed and

   The end of the Hackathon on Sunday is driven by other IETF meeting
   events.  There typically are Newcomer events that start at 16:00.
   The IETF Hackathon typically includes many newcomers in its list of
   participants.  It is important to provide them time to participate in
   the Newcomer events.  The opening reception typically start at 17:00,
   and we want to make it easy for all Hackathon participants to join
   that as well.

   Hackdemo Happy Hour (ref) and the Code Lounge (ref) exist to
   facilitate ongoing discussion and work on projects beyond the
   official end of the Hackathon weekend.

2.2.  Hackdemo Happy Hour

   Hackdemo Happy Hour provides an opportunity for more in depth sharing
   and discussion than is possible within the time constraints of the
   result presentation that occur at the end of the Hackathon.  This
   opportunity is made available to all teams.  As with the results
   presentation, participation is optional.

   Initially, we did something similar as part of Bits and Bites.  This
   worked well for the Hackathon but the Bits and Bites event was
   eventually abandoned for other reasons.  Hackdemo Happy Hour was
   created as a low cost, informal event to provide a venue for the IETF
   community to engage with the Hackathon teams in more in depth
   discussions related to their projects.

   Hackdemo Happy Hour is typically Monday evening, roughly from 18:00 -
   19:30, often overlapping a bit with the last working group session of
   the day but continuing long enough to allow everyone an opportunity
   to join.  The goal is to make it convenient to attend by not
   conflicting with other meetings but also no running too late into the

   Light snacks and non alcoholic beverages are provided, and a cash bar
   is available to align with the spirit of a happy hour.

2.3.  Code Lounge

   The Code Lounge provides space for groups to gather and continue to
   collaborate on running code after the Hackathon.  It is typically in
   the IETF Lounge and open the same hours as the IETF Lounge.
   Champions are encouraged to look at the final agenda and determine
   time slots best suited to ensure successful attendance of Code Lounge
   sessions as well as any traditional working group sessions.  It is
   okay for multiple teams to sign up for the same time slots.  This is
   in fact encouraged for work that spans multiple working groups or

2.4.  Code Sprint

   Some efforts were made to have the Hackathon and the Code Sprint work
   together or potentially be combined into a single event focusing on
   the development of IETF protocols and IETF internal tools.  There is
   some concern that the events currently compete for resources.  There
   is also a great deal of synergistic potential.  Several Hackathon
   projects, such as those related to YANG model validation, involve the
   creation or modification of IETF tools.

   The Code Sprint existed long before the Hackathon and has its own
   identity and way of doing things.  The Code Sprint organizers are
   against combining the events and potentially losing this identity the
   benefits of a customized event.  The practice that exists today is to
   locate the events physically close to each other to facilitate
   switching back and forth between the two events.

2.5.  Online Only

   The IETF 107 Hackathon was originally scheduled to be the weekend at
   the start of the IETF meeting in Vancouver.  When COVID-19 hit and it
   became clear the IETF meeting could not occur in person, the
   Hackathon already had 23 projects and 176 registrations.  With only
   10 days until the anticipated start of the Hackathon, a survey
   ( went out to the
   Hackathon community, including all project champions and registered
   participants, to see if they wanted to participate in the Hackathon
   exactly as planned except with everyone participating remotely rather
   than in person.  A relatively small number of people expressed
   interest in participating, with even fewer wanting to continue to
   champion their projects.  The fact that the Hackathon was planned for
   the weekend before the IETF meeting and in the local time zone, both
   of which were historically very convenient and attractive to
   Hackathon participants, suddenly became huge obstacles.
   Consequently, the IETF 107 Hackathon was cancelled.

   We knew more in advance that IETF 108 would be an online only
   meeting.  We moved and expanded the schedule to run the entire work
   week before the rest of the IETF meeting.  The Hackathon kickoff was
   set for Monday, the closing for Friday, with all the time in between
   left for individual project teams to arrange to meet how and when was
   most convenient for them.  The kickoff and closing sessions were
   schedule to align with the time frame established for the IETF 108
   meeting.  All of this was, of course, not ideal, and it worked much
   better for some people than for others, but at least everyone knew
   the plan and corresponding time commitment well in advance and had
   the ability to plan accordingly.

   We ultimately had 19 projects and almost 300 registrations.  It is
   hard to say how many people actually participated and for how long,
   but many projects were able to get substantial work done.  For the
   closing, 10 teams produced and shared presentations summarizing their
   findings and achievements.  All presentations as well as the agenda
   and a recording of the closing session are available via the IETF 108
   Hackathon wiki (
   wiki/108hackathon).  This level of participation was strong enough to
   be considered a success and justify including the Hackathon in future
   online only IETF meetings.

   Hackdemo Happy Hour and the Code Lounge are not applicable for online
   only Hackathons.

3.  Funding

   The Hackathon requires funding, and that funding increases with the
   number of participants.  Participating has always been free;
   therefore, funding from other sources than participant fees is

3.1.  Sponsorship

   The initial funding model was to have Hackathon sponsors sign up to
   sponsor and fund the Hackathon for one year.  As part of starting the
   Hackathon, Cisco volunteered to sponsor and fund the Hackathon for
   its first year (i.e., three Hackathons, one at each IETF meeting
   during a calendar year).  This sponsorship was to rotate.  Huawei
   volunteered to sponsor the second year of the Hackathon.  After the
   second year, a sponsor for the 3rd year was not found.  However, the
   Hackathon had become a proven success.  Consequently, the IETF
   decided to fund the Hackathon as part of the IETF meeting, with
   Hackathon sponsorship being on a best effort basis.

   Online only Hackathons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and
   increased remote participating in general, result in increased cloud
   infrastructure requirements that make Hackathon sponsorship more
   attractive to cloud infrastructure providers.

   Hackathon sponsorship is available at different levels as part of
   being an IETF Running Code Sponsor (

3.2.  Expenses

   The primary expenses associated with the Hackathon are those for
   hosting an in-person event, e.g., meeting space, food and beverage,
   etc.  It is often challenging to quantify the portion of this
   associated with the Hackathon from that incurred for the IETF meeting

3.2.1.  In-person Event Expenses

   The following expenses are associated with in-person participation in
   a Hackathon.  When the IETF meeting is online only, these expenses
   are eliminated.  Meeting Space

   The meeting space for the Hackathon is sometimes included as part of
   the overall contract for the IETF meeting.  Other times, additional
   expense is incurred to secure a large enough space earlier than would
   otherwise have been required.  Typically, the space is needed for
   setup from Friday afternoon before the start of the IETF meeting
   until Sunday afternoon.  After the Hackathon, the space is typically
   repurposed for the IETF Lounge.  If the size of the Hackathon
   continues to increase, it might be necessary to use the same space as
   is later used for the IETF plenary.  Food and Beverage

   Some portion of the food and beverage expense is often included as
   part of a minimum spend the IETF is obligated to make.  When a
   Hackathon sponsor is identified, funds resulting from this
   sponsorship are typically used to offset food and beverage expenses,
   or to increase the food and beverage budget.

   The minimum food and beverage for the Hackathon has been,

   *  coffee, tea, and water Saturday and Sunday morning

   *  lunch Saturday and Sunday
   Additional items, in order of importance, include,

   *  beer Saturday evening

   *  dinner Saturday evening

   *  continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday

   *  afternoon snacks Saturday and Sunday  T-shirts

   Hackathon t-shirts are an important part of the Hackathon.  They have
   been provided for all in-person Hackathons and greatly appreciated by
   many participants.  The also serve as great advertising for the IETF,
   the Hackathon, and sponsors.  Cisco or other event sponsors have
   often covered expenses associated with t-shirts.  The current model
   is that the secretariat covers the expenses using whatever funding is

   The number of size distribution of t-shirts for IETF 107 is provided
   here as an example.

   *  380 t-shirts at a cost of roughly $10 USD / t-shirt with shipping
      to the Secretariat included

      -  50 Small

      -  120 Medium

      -  110 Large

      -  75 XL

      -  25 XXL

   The t-shirts are all standard cut.  We previously tried providing
   fitted cut t-shirts as an option for Hackathon participants, but
   these were not well received.  Stickers

   Laptop stickers are popular with developers.  Stickers have been made
   available at the Hackathon for those that want them.  Expenses have
   been covered by the IETF LLC, Director of Communications and

3.2.2.  Remote Participation Expenses

   The following expenses are associated things done primarily to
   facilitate remote participation in a Hackathon.  This includes
   participation when the Hackathon is online only as well as remote
   participation when the Hackathon is in-person.

   *  Meetecho: cost associated with Hackathon kickoff and closing

   *  Gather: costs associated with premium service, required to enable
      more than 25 concurrent users.  This has not been necessary, but
      will almost certainly be if Gather becomes a valuable way for
      Hackathon participants to meet within and across teams.

   *  Webex: IETF Webex accounts are made available to champions for the
      duration of the Hackathon and some period beyond that encompasses
      at least the rest of the IETF meeting.  These accounts are
      available at no additional cost to the IETF at present

   *  Network: setup and support of the IETF network, and remote access
      to it

   The change in timing and extended duration of the Hackathon at an
   online only IETF meeting increases the duration and use of remote
   participation facilities from 7 days to 12 days.  This may result in
   increases to the cost of providing these facilities.

4.  Project Presentations

   Project presentations are an important mechanism for capturing what
   each team intends to accomplish, what they actually accomplished, and
   sharing the results and findings with the IETF community.

   For the first few Hackathons, we had two very distinct types of

   1.  Presentation that served as project pitches at the start of the

   2.  Presentations that summarize results at the end of the Hackathon.

4.1.  Project Pitches

   The project pitches were 5-10 minute presentations by a champion of a
   project describing what they wanted to do and how they proposed to
   accomplish it.  This gave everyone in the room a better understanding
   of all the projects and helped participants match themselves with
   appropriate projects.  This worked well when we had a small number of
   projects, but it became unwieldy as the number of projects increased.
   As knowledge of the Hackathon grew and advanced planning became more
   common, many participants knew exactly which team they planned to
   join and wanted to get to work as quickly as possible rather than
   spend a couple hours listening to presentations.  Project pitches
   were dropped from the Hackathon.  Champions are encouraged to share
   this type of information in advance via the Meeting Wiki
   (Section 5.4) instead.

4.2.  Results Summaries

   The results summaries are brief presentation by each team of what
   problem they tried to solve, what they achieved, and highlights that
   include lessons learned, feedback to associated working groups, and
   collaboration with open source communities and other standards
   organizations.  They also highlight individuals who are participating
   in their first IETF Hackathon or first IETF event to facilitate their
   introduction into the IETF community.  The production and
   presentation of results summaries is optional.  Fortunately, despite
   the lack of awards and prizes, most teams participate.

   As with the project pitches, results summaries can become unwieldy as
   the number of projects increases.  With this in mind, the total time
   for all results summaries is limited to 2 hours.  The maximum
   duration of each presentation is calculated based on the number teams
   that have indicated the desire to present.  This maximum is strictly
   enforced to ensure all teams have the opportunity to present their
   results.  Maximum durations of 3-5 minutes are typical.

4.2.1.  Templates

   Project results presentation templates provides guidance on what to
   cover.  The use of these templates is optional.  They are made
   available in various in various formats in a GitHub repo created
   specifically for the presentations for each IETF Hackathon, e.g.,
   (  PPTX

   For portability, presentations that use this template should be made
   exported into PDF format as well.  HTML format

   This template should render within any browser.  It can be rendered
   as a slideshow using remark (

4.3.  Upload to GitHub

   All presentation are uploaded to the GitHub repo created the
   Hackathon, e.g.,
   presentations (
   presentations).  The contents of this repo are used as the source for
   all project presentations at the end of the Hackathon and remain as a
   reference after the Hackathon.

   One must be a member of the IETF-Hackathon GitHub org to upload a new
   presentation or update/replace an existing presentation.

   To be added as a member, presenters are asked to

   *  include the name by which they are known in their GitHub profile

   *  enable two factor authentication (2FA)

   *  send your GitHub user name to the Chair(s)

   Presenters are asked to do this at their earliest convenience as the
   Chair(s) typically get very busy as the start of presentations

4.4.  Presenting in Person

   Presentations are run from a shared ChromeBook at the front of the
   Hackathon room.  This Chromebook is provided by the Secretariat.

4.5.  Presenting Remotely

   Remote presenters are welcome to run their own presentations using
   the screen sharing functionality in Meetecho.  Alternatively, the
   Hackathon Chairs can share the presentation and advance slides for
   the presenter.

5.  Tooling

   The IETF Hackathon uses the same tooling used by the IETF community
   for its work and meetings.

5.1.  Datatracker

   The datatracker ( supports the notion
   of Teams that are not a part of the standards development process.
   The Hackathon exists as one such Team.  From the datatracker menu,
   navigate to "Other" -> "Active Teams" -> "Hackathon".  Here exists a
   datatracker space for the Hackathon similar to what is available for
   working groups, including meeting materials, agendas, etc.
   Initially, there was some attempt to copy materials hosted in GitHub
   ( to the datatracker.  Now this is
   done only when required for integration with other IETF tooling,

   *  requesting sessions ( for
      the Hackathon kickoff and closing, and for Hackdemo Happy Hour

   *  posting agendas (

5.2.  IETF Website

5.2.1.  Hackathon Webpage

   The IETF website includes a dedicated page for the Hackathon webpage
   (  This page
   contains information about the Hackathon in general as well as links
   to past, present, and future Hackathons.  The relevant links are
   updated after each IETF meeting.  Other content on the page is
   updated on a more ad hoc basis.

5.2.2.  Meeting Webpage

   Each IETF meeting webpage (
   contains information about the corresponding Hackathon, including the
   dates of the Hackathon in the header, a link to the Hackathon webpage
   in the "Additional Events" section.

5.3.  Registration

   Registration for the Hackathon is through the IETF meeting
   registration ( system.  Participant
   registration for the Hackathon is

   *  independent of participation registration for the meeting
   *  free

   *  required

   As with meeting registration, registrants for the Hackathon
   acknowledge the Note Well ( during
   the registration process.

5.3.1.  Participant List

   An active list of all registered participants, e.g.,
   (, is
   maintained by the Secretariat.  Important information displayed for
   each registrant includes the set of projects and technologies in
   which each participant is interested and an email address.  This
   information is optional at the time of registration and may be
   updated or removed by editing one's registration.

5.3.2.  Caps on Registrations

   Registrations were capped for the first several Hackathons.  This was
   done both for space and costs considerations.  The cap was hit
   multiple times, each time resulting in temporary confusion and
   frustration among would be registrants, followed by the cap being
   increased.  Currently, there are no caps enforced by the registration

5.4.  Meeting Wiki

   The meeting wiki serves as the primary source of information for each

5.4.1.  Hackathon

   A page within the meeting wiki, e.g.,
   (, is
   created by the Secretariat for each Hackathon and initialized with
   information that is based largely on the information from the
   previous Hackathon.  Once created, the Hackathon Chairs update and
   moderate this page.  Champions are requested and responsible for
   adding information about projects for which they are a champion.

   Anyone can edit the wiki by logging in using their datatracker login
   credentials.  Credentials can be obtained by requesting
   ( a new datatracker

5.4.2.  Lost and Found

   A Lost and Found wiki page, e.g.,
   lost&found), is created by the Chairs for each Hackathon.
   Participants looking for a team are encouraged to add themselves to
   the "Skills to Offer" table, providing some information about their
   skills and interests.  This will help others with matching needs and/
   or interests find them.  Champions wanting help on their projects are
   encouraged to add their teams to the "Skills Needed" table, providing
   some information about the skills they seek.

5.4.3.  Results Presentation Schedule

   A Results Presentation Schedule wiki page, e.g.,
   resultspresentationschedule), is created by the Chairs for each
   Hackathon.  Hackathon teams are welcome and encouraged to present
   their results during the Hackathon Closing.  Hackathon teams add the
   name of their project and the name of the presenter to the table at
   the bottom of this page.

5.4.4.  In Person Only

   The following wiki pages are applicable for in-person Hackathons
   only.  Hackdemo Happy Hour

   A Hackdemo Happy Hour wiki page, e.g.,
   (, is
   created by the Chairs for each Hackathon.  Champions are welcome and
   encouraged to add their project by entering the project name/acronym
   and a contact name and email address in the table displayed on the
   page.  Code Lounge

   A Code Lounge wiki page, e.g.,
   (, is
   created by the Chairs for each Hackathon.  Champions are welcome and
   encouraged to add their project by entering the project name/acronym
   and a contact name and email address in the table displayed on the

5.4.5.  Online Only

   The following wiki pages are applicable for online Hackathons only.  Team Schedule

   A Team Schedule wiki page, e.g.,
   teamschedule), is created by the Chairs for each online only
   Hackathon.  Online only Hackathons take place globally for an entire
   week.  It is up to individual project teams to determine the
   preferred dates, times, and ways to meet to work on their project
   within the context of that week (e.g., Zoom, Webex, Slack).  This
   page is meant to help facilitate coordination of schedules within and
   across teams.

5.5.  Mailing List

   The Hackathon mail list,
   (, is used for all
   email communication and announcement related to the Hackathon.  All
   registrants and given the option to subscribe to the list.  Anyone
   interested in staying up to date on the Hackathon is able to
   subscribe at any time.

5.5.1.  Hackathon Chairs Email Alias

   The email alias (mailto:hackathon- was created and is maintained by the Secretariat.
   It is used on hackathons webpages and wiki pages to provide a single
   point of contact for the Hackathon.

5.6.  GitHub

   The IETF-Hackathon ( is used to
   share code, presentations, and other artifacts at IETF Hackathons.
   The Hackathon Chairs are responsible for administering the GitHub

   Code for Hackathon projects often exist elsewhere, which is perfectly
   fine.  Anyone needing a place to host code for the Hackathon can
   request the creating of a repository for their project.

   A repository is created and maintained by the Chairs for each
   Hackathon, e.g.,
   presentations (
   presentations).  This repo is for participants to upload project
   presentations.  The contents of this repo are used as the source for
   all project presentations at the end of the Hackathon and remain as a
   reference after the Hackathon.

5.7.  Meetecho

   Meetecho ( is used for the kickoff and
   closing sessions of the Hackathon.  This provides many capabilities,
   including the following:

   *  allows participants to join Hackathon sessions in person or

   *  validate registration of participants at time of joining Hackathon

   *  enable remote presentations of project results

   *  capture recording of Hackathon sessions

5.8.  Network

   Access to the IETF network is an important aspect of the Hackathon.
   The IETF network provides unfettered Internet access that is not
   typical within many residential, corporate, and university
   environments.  For many of IETF participants and projects, access to
   the Internet and each other via wireless access to the IETF network
   is sufficient.  However, due to the nature of the work done in the
   IETF, wired access and special networking capabilities are often

   The NOC has graciously met the needs of the Hackathon since its
   inception and continues to add more capabilities over time.
   Champions are able to request in advance wired access and special
   networking functionality, including static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses,
   IPv6 only networking, a closed user group, NAT64, and IPv6PD.  All of
   this, and the IETF network in general, is made available by the start
   of the Hackathon and in advance for setup to the extent possible.

5.8.1.  Remote Networking

   Online only meetings present both a personal networking challenge and
   a computer networking challenge.  The NOC came to the rescue for the
   latter with remote networking options to join the IETF network while
   attending the a meeting remotely.  With a Raspberry Pi 2B, 3B, or 4B,
   the NOC has  This evolved into what is now known as
   HackNet (, a recipe that allow teams to be virtually connected global Layer 2 VPN
   designed to support IETF protocol development across teams within the
   IETF network with all Hackathon.  A limited set of devices for connecting to HackNet
   are supported.  In addition to layer 2 connectivity, a subset of the previously mentioned options.  This
   networking capability is capabilities available for at in-person meetings are
   available.  Both the set of devices and online
   only Hackathons.

   Virtual connectively to the IETF network remains set of networking
   capabilities are expected to expand and evolve over time.  HackNet is
   generally available between meetings.  Individuals or project champions can request
   access through the IETF Ticketing System
   ( meetings.  Support is available via
   email to (

5.9.  Webex

   Champions can request a Webex account
   they can use to schedule meetings for their team.  These are similar
   to the Webex accounts allocated to working group chairs to be used
   for virtual interim meetings.  An account can be requested by a team
   champion at any time.  Accounts remain active and available
   throughout the duration of the Hackathon and the associated IETF
   meeting.  A project name may be used in place of "Working Group Name"
   in the request form.

5.10.  Gather

   Gather ( facilitates virtual hallway interaction
   during IETF meetings.  A dedicated area within the overall space is
   created by the Secretariat for the Hackathon.  The area includes
   tables, identified by letters of the alphabet, that teams are free to
   self assign and use as and when they like.  Eight to ten seats around
   each table facilitate group discussions within the team.  A
   whiteboard or shared notes tablet (via CodiMD) at tables facilitates
   sharing of information within the team.  The tables also facilitate
   collaboration across teams.  One cautionary note, Gather has relative
   high network bandwidth and CPU requirements, and as such may not be
   well suited for some Hackathon participants.

   The Gather space remains available between IETF meetings, with
   incremental improvements and additions made during this time.  The
   space is cleaned about a month prior to the start of the next
   meeting, removing anything left over from the previous meeting.
   Hackathon teams are encouraged to make a copy of anything they want
   to retain within a week of the end of the IETF meeting.

6.  Statistics and Metrics

   Statistics for the Hackathon have been gathered informally from the
   first Hackathon, at IETF 92, and more formally since IETF 101.
   Registration is required but it is also free, which can lead to
   misleading statistics.  Starting with IETF 101, an effort has been
   made by the Secretariat to validate registrations for all in-person
   participants by checking registrations at the main entrance to the
   Hackathon room.  Badges similar to those issued for the rest of the
   IETF meeting are now issued for the Hackathon as well.  There is
   still no good mechanism for determining the number of remote

   Hackathon participation has grown from 45 at IETF 92 to a maximum of
   406 at IETF 104.  Participation is tends to be slightly higher when
   the IETF meeting is located in Europe.  Recent in-person Hackathons
   have had roughly 30-40% as many participants as the corresponding
   IETF meeting.  For roughly 20-30% of Hackathon participants, the
   Hackathon is their first experience at any IETF event.

6.1.  IETF Survey Results

   For each IETF meeting, there is a post event survey that often
   includes a question or two about the Hackathon, e.g., IETF 106 Survey
   Results (

6.2.  Hackathon Survey Results

   Hackathon specific surveys have been used on some occasions to obtain
   more detailed feedback about the Hackathon from the IETF community.
   This has been especially useful for feedback on online only
   Hackathons.  Survey have been short with most questions being
   optional, e.g., IETF 110 Hackathon Survey Results

7.  Roles and Responsibilities

   This section provides a summary of the roles and responsibilities of
   individuals and groups involved in a successful IETF Hackathon.  The
   summary provided here is not meant to be exhaustive.  Some
   responsibilities are described entirely or in more detail throughout
   the rest of the document.

7.1.  Hackathon Chair(s)

   The role of a Hackathon chair is similar to that of a working group
   chair.  As with working groups, it is typically best to have co-
   chairs share responsibilities and workload.  The Chairs work very
   closely with the Secretariat on all responsibilities.  Key
   responsibilities include:

   *  Organize and deliver a Hackathon at each IETF meeting, soliciting
      help from all other roles to do much of the heavy lifting

   *  Encourage and provide guidance to champions who volunteer to lead

   *  Maintain the Hackathon wiki, e.g.,
      (, and
      all of its child pages.

   *  Moderate ( email list

   *  Request sessions ( for the
      Hackathon opening and closing in the IETF meeting

   *  Emcee the Hackathon, including the opening and closing sessions
      and announcements in between

   *  Create and manage the GitHub repo used for each Hackathon, e.g.,

   *  Serve as main point of contact for all Hackathon questions and

7.2.  Secretariat

   Key responsibilities include:

   *  Configure and manage Hackathon registration system

   *  Maintain Hackathon web page (

   *  Create and maintain web page for each Hackathon, e.g.,

   *  Create wiki page for each Hackathon, e.g.,
      (  This
      is initialized and updated at times by the Secretariat, but the
      Chair(s) are ultimately responsible for maintaining it.

   *  Handle venue logistics for Hackathon, Hackdemo Happy Hour, and
      Code Lounge (e.g., reserve room, food and beverages, AV, etc.)

   *  Internal IETF promotion (e.g., email messages to IETF community)

   *  Assist with external outreach, as needed, including finding

   *  Validate Hackathon registrations for in-person participants,
      including issuing badges and participant t-shirts when available

7.3.  Sponsor

   Key responsibilities include:

   *  Provide some funding to help offset costs of Hackathon (either per
      meeting or per year, depending on model)

   *  Optionally provide t-shirts or other giveaways

   *  Optionally provide support staff to assist with Hackathon

   Key benefits include:

   *  Sponsor logo on Hackathon t-shirts
   *  Sponsor logo on Hackathon signage

   *  Sponsor logo on Hackathon webpage and wiki

   *  Sponsor logo and call out in Hackathon kickoff and closing

   *  Sponsor logo and call out in IETF Plenary presentation

   *  Sponsor logo and call out in Hackathon recap on IETF blog

   *  Recognition in IETF community for helping the IETF Hackathon
      remain free and open to everyone

7.4.  Champions of Projects

   Champions of projects are the key to a successful Hackathon.  Key
   responsibilities for champions include:

   *  Volunteer to lead a project at the Hackathon

   *  Serve as primary contact for the project

   *  Add and manage information on the Hackathon wiki for the project

   *  Promote the project to appropriate groups inside IETF and outside
      as well

   *  Welcome and organize members of the team

   *  Provide focus, guidance, and leadership for the project

7.5.  IETF LLC, Director of Communications and Operations (was ISOC)

   Key responsibilities include:

   *  External promotion outside of IETF, including web search engine ad
      words, social media posts, and listing on external event calendars
      such as
      ( and (

   *  Outreach to local universities

   *  Provide photographer, including optional team photos and candid
      photos of collaborating during in-person events

   *  Laptop stickers (Section at in-person events

7.6.  Judges

   The first several Hackathon involved judges who listened to summary
   presentations by teams at the closing of each Hackathon and
   identified winning teams for an arbitrary number of project
   categories.  Prizes were made available to members of winning teams.
   This was done as an incentive to participate in the Hackathon and
   present results, and to provide a fun yet informative end to the
   Hackathon that could be appreciated by the entire IETF community.
   Judging and awarding of prizes led to confusion regarding the nature
   of the Hackathon, making it appear to some overly competitive.
   Procurement of appropriate prizes was financially and logistically
   challenging.  Arrangement of judges, determination of winners, and
   awarding of prizes all became more time consuming, especially as the
   number of projects and participants grew.  Ultimately, it was deemed
   best to eliminate judging, awards, and prizes entirely.  Apparently
   the IETF community has an innate incentive to participate and present
   results in the Hackathon.

8.  Implementation Status

   The practices described in this document have been established, used,
   and refined over the course of running numerous IETF Hackathons,
   including several at online only IETF meetings.  The draft-ietf-
   shmoo-hackathon (
   hackathon) GitHub repository has been used to collaborate on this
   document.  The IETF-Hackathon (
   GitHub organization contains code associated with IETF Hackathons.

9.  Security Considerations



9.1.  Privacy Considerations

   Participant names and email addresses are displayed publicly in the
   Participant List (Section 5.3.1).  Participants may opt-in or opt-out
   of the display of their email address as part of their registration.

   The email addresses of individual champions are often shared publicly
   by the champions on the wiki.  This is done voluntarily by individual
   champions to make it easier for others to contact them.


10.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.


   The IETF Secretariat, notably Alexa Morris and Stephanie McCammon,
   contributed significantly to the creation of the IETF Hackathon and
   the practices in this document.  Among other things, Alexa drafted
   the initial breakdown of Roles and Responsibilities (Section 7), and
   Stephanie McCammon created the initial web page and wiki.  These have
   evolved over time and are used to run each Hackathon.

   Greg Wood, Barry Leiba, Michael Richardson Richardson, and Benson Muite also
   provided valuable significant contributions to the Hackathon and to this

Author's Address

   Charles Eckel
   Cisco Systems
   United States of America