Gopher Gala 2015: Post-Mortem

It’s been a few weeks since the Gala ended and the winners were announced, so we wanted to write a blog post about how the competition went and what some of our takeaways are for the future.

First, some fun facts:

  • Over 800 people originally registered for the Gala
  • Over 250 teams requested repositories to use for the event
  • 128 teams submitted something for judging
  • People participated in 19 in-person events around the world
  • Our page announcing the winners hit #3 on Hacker News and stayed there for awhile

All in all, we’re really happy with the way the Gala went and the quality of the apps that were built during the weekend. It was especially great to see people create things beyond the typical web app, such as command line tools and even a native application or two.

That being said, here are a few of the things we’re planning to do to improve for the next Gala:

  1. Reach out to local Go user groups earlier. As the whole competition came together in about 10 weeks, there wasn’t a ton of time to reach people on a grassroots level. That being said, a few of our local HQs were able to generate local interest by reaching out to universities and developer meetups, and we’d like to expand upon this in the future.

  2. Generate more feedback in the judging process. This year, there wasn’t a good way for people to comment and leave feedback on each others’ apps, which may have left people who didn’t make it into the top 20 wondering about how their app was received. There was some discussion in Slack, but for next year, we want to incorporate comments and discussions directly into the judging process so that everyone gets some feedback on what they built.

  3. Publish resources for beginners in the weeks leading up to the hackathon. We had a number of people participate in the Gala who were new to Go and wanted to get their feet wet, so in the future, we’d like to compile a list of useful articles, tutorials, and libraries that beginners can use to get up and running quickly.

If you have any other feedback for ways we can improve the Gala for the future, please fill out this form or shoot us an email.

Looking forward to seeing you all at next year’s Gopher Gala!