Lee Vodra and I (two of the founders of Droplabs, a Drupal-friendly coworking space in Los Angeles, and creators of the Coders with a Cause program) will be presenting on barn raisings and "Drupal for Good" in action at the Non-Profit Drupal Summit at GLADCamp next month.
This is just one session among many at the non-profit summit, but it's on a topic that's very close to my heart. I'd like for this presentation to cover as much as possible within its allotted time and I'm requesting input, ideas, questions and even answers from everyone to make the session the best it can be.
Here are some of my questions to you:
- Have you taken part in a "barn raising" event in your community? If so, what were the high points for you?
- Just as important, what were your low points and why? Be as specific as you'd like. There's no need to name names (unless it's your own!)
- If you haven't had a barn raising for your organization yet, what are the greatest challenges you see preventing you and your organization from doing one?
Here's the description from our session page at https://gladcamp.org/2014/session/coders-with-a-cause-community-barn-rai...
In this presentation, we will introduce the "barn raising" concept and how our Coders with a Cause program has adapted it for website development to benefit non-profits and for-good startups in Los Angeles, California.
We'd love to see more groups produce barn raising events and we will detail our recipe and recommendations for how to run this style of "code sprint" and harness the technical skills and good will of the Drupal and open source communities for working with non-profits using Drupal.
At our barn raising events, a team of organizers and volunteers work together to build a website from scratch or develop new features to include much needed functionality, design, and other work required by the organization. Barn raisings are teach-and-learn opportunities for our local developer community and each event is a win-win-win for everyone.
Topics we will cover include:
- What's a barn raising? Traditional definitions vs. today's digital world;
- Giving senior developers opportunities to teach what they know and to become mentors and trainers in their community;
- Teaching new developers and boosting everyone's professional career in web development and volunteerism;
- How to overcome obstacles and identify challenges before they happen;
- Incorporating web development best practices, including:
- Requirements gathering from stakeholders;
- Standups, sprint planning and other Agile development methodologies;
- Version control and team-based collaboration;
- Ticketing systems and documentation;
- Creative ways that you might not expect for staying focused, organized and motivated;
- … and having a great time during an intense 1- or 2-day event!
Lee Vodra and Christefano Reyes have organized dozens of barn raisings for non-profits including SurfCorps.org, TimeBanks USA, the Venice Skate Park and the Arroyo Seco Time Bank; and for-good community projects including Droplabs.net, OneDayCareer.org, the Southern California Linux Expo, and OTTO, a classroom management system.