[Foss4g2008loc] How did the GeoDjango workshop go at FOSS4G 2008?

Josh Livni josh at umbrellaconsulting.com
Wed Feb 4 14:20:08 EST 2009

As noted in some other responses, we had a few technical difficulties (no
power, no wireless, no projector) that caused a late start for a workshop
that already had a lot packed in.  Although all these problems were
eventually solved, in my mind the biggest issue was that Chris and I spent
too much time early on running around trying to ensure as many people as
possible had a working laptop, causing us to have to choose between trying
have a hope of getting people through the coding part of the workshop, or
spending time giving context.

Some of the lessons I learned are:
  - Triple check the vmware images to ensure nothing is missing (for
example, having only vi instead of vim)
  - Assume a quarter of your audience will have a laptop battery life of ~20
minutes (even if you have power, think about adaptors for international
  - Assume you won't have wireless connectivity, and that if you do, 10% of
your audience will not be able to connect to the wireless anyway
  - Assume 10% of your audience will not be able to load a vmware dvd (no
dvd player, unable to load vmware, etc).  This means you need to have
another way for them to install everything (I had other dvds with windows
binaries and linux binaries and source for everything, but you know, it
takes a while to build gdal!)
  - If you can get an email list of attendees beforehand, have them attempt
to download/install/read some stuff to get started beforehand (I realize
others may disagree with this ..)
  - Have 3+ presenters.  They don't all need to be experts on the topic at
hand - if one of them can just troubleshoot some IT issues, that will let
the main presenter(s) concentrate on the core of the workshop.
  - It's easier to give a workshop where there's preconfigured desktop
machines :)

Obviously a lot of the above depends on the size and type of workshop it is.
 GeoDjango happens to have a fairly .. robust  .. set of dependencies.   A
workshop on something like OpenLayers could potentially be done with much
less software to worry about (turns out the OL demo at the same event did
also take advantage of a nice preconfigured GeoServer setup amongst other
things, but you see my point).



On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 12:17 AM, Cameron Shorter
<cameron.shorter at gmail.com>wrote:

> foss4g 2008 OC,
> Looking through the 2008 program, I notice that the GeoDjango workshop
> asked participants to bring their own laptops.
> We are also considering inviting participants to bring their own laptops to
> some of the FOSS4G 2009 tutorials and would like to hear how successful this
> was in Johannesburg. Do you have any lessons learned that can  be passed on
> to us?
> Please forward this email onto the presenter(s) if you know who they are.
> --
> Cameron Shorter
> Geospatial Systems Architect
> Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
> Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254
> Think Globally, Fix Locally
> Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source
> http://www.lisasoft.com
> _______________________________________________
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> FOSS4G2008LOC at lists.osgeo.org
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