Great post Terence, thanks! The whole language issue is something I’ve struggled with before, and could probably have been tackled as a project in its own right!
To give a bit of feedback on the tensions you mentioned, I completely agree with you here. We tried extremely hard to make sure everyone was fully up-to-speed on how a hack day worked, and Emma’s blog post is actually one of things I used when doing that!
I think there were two particular points of this ‘prep-ing’ which we didn’t quite manage to achieve as fully as we might have done:
1) The “can you add X?” problem: In my experience this can never be fully counteracted as people who’ve not had exposure to hack days before tend to get a bit blown away by the fact you are ACTUALLY DOING THAT CODE THING TO MAKE THINGS IN FRONT OF THEM RIGHT NOW. But, I do still think we could have done better.
2) The scope problem: In this case it manifested itself in your negative presentation feedback. My easy excuse for that is that that particular judge was a late addition to the panel, so didn’t get my full explanatory briefing – but in reality, it probably needed outlining upfront to everyone in the room.
My own blog on the day is even more delayed than yours (and not for such good reasons) – I’ll try and pick this up a bit more in that.
Thanks again for your contribution on the day and here – much appreciated 🙂