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CTFEDs workshop for Open Design Cape Town

This weekend just gone, two of the organisers of the CTFEDs meetup group (myself and Justin Slack of New Media Labs) ran a Future Friendly-themed workshop as part of the Open Design festival.

We wrote up the principles that we’d be following and a fairly extensive checklist of TODOs for workshop attendees to have a look through. We had a couple of sticky note activities to do during the day (yes, I use sticky notes for everything!) and Justin and I gave a lightning talk each (I talked about jQuery vs JavaScript (which I will do a short write up of soon) and Justin talked about Iconfonts vs SVG)..

One of my favourite things about the workshop was that we had a wide range of experience levels: from people writing their first lines of HTML and CSS to people tweaking performance metrics on their clients' sites. It was awesome!

What went well

We gathered some feedback from the students about the workshop: the things that cropped up the most were that people enjoyed the lightning talks (yay!) and they were looking forward to the next one.

This was the first workshop event we’ve run: we usually just have presentations. I really enjoyed it, and I hope that we can run another one.

What didn’t go so well

The checklist could have been presented a bit better. We printed out the whole checklist on one piece of paper, and I think it was a bit overwhelming. The idea was to pick a few that piqued your interest and just look at those, but that wasn’t clear.

What we could change

If we run this workshop, or one similar to it, again, I think we’ll print each section of the checklist out separately: have just a handful of items on each page. It might also be interesting to have a limited number of cards: you take a page, do one thing, then put the page back for someone else to pick up.

I really dig stickers. We use them at RailsBridge as tiny Achievement Unlocked celebratory things, and I think I’ll bring them along next time. If you finish one of the cards (a print out of one small piece of the giant checklist) you get a sticker.