Marketing Team/Events/Sugarcamp Boston 2008/Feedback

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Please add your thoughts inline on this page, and discuss on the Talk:Sugarcamp/Feedback page if you need to reach consensus on how to phrase a certain point. Thanks! Mchua 06:44, 23 November 2008 (UTC) (Original reflections are a collaboration by Bernie Innocenti, Walter Bender, Tomeu Vizoso, Marco Pesenti Gritti, Ben Schwartz, David Farning, Chris Ball, and Mel Chua.)


  • It happened!
  • Lots of people came.
  • We met some extraordinary people.
  • We have some new partners now.
  • We had really nice meeting rooms.
  • The TurtleArt portfolio demo was cool!
  • The Infrastructure team got "unstuck."
  • Bringing people together created a lot of energy.
  • We actually can do this [run Sugarcamp]!
  • What we have now [in Sugar as a product] is better than what we admit.
  • We met existing volunteers.
  • We met new volunteers.
  • We got to hear very different points of view.
  • This week was inspiring!
  • We had fun people like Bernie and Yama.
  • We stepped forward on technical problems.
  • We met [Sugar] deployers like Caroline and Brendan.
  • We increased clarity about OLPC funding.
  • We got to spend time with colleagues.
  • We have a better definition of OLPC vs Sugar Labs responsibilities.
  • We got to resolve some issues in person [that we weren't able to resolve online].
  • We got a better picture of our social interactions.
  • Some people developed a lot as leaders this week, like Bernie stepping up to run Sugarcamp.
  • We got to see our own dysfunctional habits.
  • Ryan's speech about Sugar Labs solving a very hard problem that is "the future of computing" was inspiring.
  • Gregdek standing up and trying to get us all to work together was awesome.
  • The OLPC/Sugar Labs umbilical cord was cut.


  • 15 hour days, 6 days in a row... cause people to break down
  • We need better organizers than me next time. (said by Bernie)
  • One week passes by very quickly!
  • Our sessions were conducted in a hybrid format between roundtables and conferences.
  • Our schedule was very dynamic.
  • There was a mix between OLPC and Sugar Labs discussions.
  • Walter was coding instead of listening during some sessions! (kidding)
  • This is actually the second Sugarcamp - the first was in Italy about 6 months ago.
  • We did not do much hacking.
  • Everyone was optimizing their own time during the conference; sometimes this meant not listening to the speaker [and working on their laptop or having side conversations instead].
  • "Useful for kids" is our equivalent of "Because I Said So." We say it when we don't want people to argue with us any more.
  • We focus when we make something together, like when we took notes together on the whiteboard.
  • Dfarning was a good cop.
  • If we fix the problem of long-distance collaborators participating in Sugarcamp, we'll also fix the problem of quiet people not talking.


  • Too many unfocused interruptions.
  • The schedule slipped due to untimed talks.
  • People escaped points of disagreements.
  • The pizza was unreliable.
  • Action items didn't come out of technical BS (brainstorms).
  • The OLPC roadmap session was frustrating because it didn't leverage the Sugar Labs community.
  • Few people were able to contribute.
  • The schedule changed a lot.
  • At the beginning of the week, there were some difficulties between people.
  • There was disrespect between some people.
  • Infinite arguments.
  • Some people still think there are "sides."
  • Premature optimization.
  • "Smartest kid in the room" syndrome (a.k.a. Apollo Syndrome)
  • Quiet people didn't talk because we didn't ask them what they thought.
  • Long distance collaborators had a hard time on the phone.
  • Seconded. As a remote participant, I found it was hard to get attention during sometimes heated conversation. It was hard to stay focussed. It was hard to know what was happening and when (schedule changes etc). --Morgs 14:43, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The relationship between OLPC and Sugar Labs remains unresolved.
  • We didn't go into details on why we get frustrated with each other.
  • Good ideas got interrupted by other good ideas.
  • Organizing this talk caused a lot of conflict within/with OLPC.


  • Create ongoing conference committee, and assign specific duties well before events (Conf. chair, venue, food, program, speakers, sponsors, A/V, moderators, funding,...)
  • Ask for use of World Bank teleconferencing network (80 locations around the world) [I have some experience with this--Mokurai 03:57, 24 November 2008 (UTC)]
  • Bigger conference with more people and multiple sessions divided into tracks (some selection from topics like Constructionism, Activities, Glucose, Health, Textbooks, Content, Localization, Translation, Outreach...)
  • Bring in teachers, researchers from education schools, subject matter experts, children!,...
  • Field trips to schools using XOs