The future of remote hangouts: we need your opinions

We’ve been running regular remote hangouts for a while: https://openedx.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/COMM/pages/836337714/Remote+Hangouts

As we prepare for more hangouts this fall, we’d love to hear from you:

  • What part of them did you especially like?
  • What didn’t work well?
  • What could be better?
  • What topics would you like to hear about?
  • What topics would you like to present about?

The remote hangouts are for you: we want to make them as useful to you as possible. Tell us what you think!

In just 3 days (September 8th), it will be 5 years since I started to look at and work with Open edX. My answers to the questions then would have been so different than the answers to the same questions now.

I believe it is hard to get “newbies” to join the hangouts.

There are a few operators, like us at EDUlib, but if you check who is attending the “Configuration Hangout”, it is the usual suspects most of the time. Maybe people are afraid to join or come and ask their question because they are too much at beginner level? 5 years ago I would have loved to have a hangout where people could come and ask questions like we regularly saw on the mailing lists, Slack and now Discourse. Maybe questions should be sent more in advance. I know that you’ve always asked to add topics to the agenda. Maybe participants, or future participants, should be made aware of a hangout coming more often so that they can prepare their questions in advance.

About time zones. It’s always difficult to get people from all around the world to check-in at the same time. I know you have tried to run the Community Hangout at different time of the day. Luckily, recording the Hangouts can help alleviate the need to be present “live”. Maybe the recordings need to be more publicized on social media, Slack and Discourse.

One thing I would like to see, maybe it’s because I have been an early adopter for Insights and ecommerce, are sessions with the different “product” teams or other teams (i18n for example). This could be at a low level or at a high level. Just based on questions being asked over and over again, something is missing or misunderstood by the people trying to install these features. Or people could be simply looking for a feature and have no idea something exists at edX or in the community to help them achieve their goal.

The Architecture Hangout was a really good addition to the list. Even if I do not consider myself a developer, it is good to know in advance what is coming up, how it will be implemented and how it will interact with the platform.

I do not have more to contribute to the discussion right now, but if I think of anything, I’ll be back :slight_smile:

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I’m tuning in to the hangouts on the recordings, because I just can’t make the live session :frowning:

Time zone constraints mean that it happens at 6pm my time, when I almost always have a prior engagement, but that’s my problem, 6pm isn’t that bad. But I’ve got to wonder how many people aren’t attending because they’re even further East than myself (central Europe, Asia, etc.), or facing similar issues with the time slot.

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I attended a few but found that they were a bit haphazard, at least for the ones I tuned in for. It seemed that often nothing had been planned in advance, or edX people who were supposed to attend forgot there was a hangout that day. I’m not sure how high a priority the edX organization has placed on these hangouts in the past.

The thing I’m most interested in is the current and future development of product features. It would be great to hear what edX and the various major contributors are working on, so I can know if a new feature is coming that my company would be interested in (or prepare better for a change to something we already use).

I appreciate the honest feedback. I’m putting some work into making the upcoming hangout more organized.

I love to see the familiar faces more than just once a year :slight_smile: Also, the meetups are a great way to demo things that we are working on and to learn about other people’s work.

As a non-native English speaker, I would really appreciate it if people used quality microphones: background noises and laptop microphones make it very difficult to understand some conversations. Podcaster microphones have become quite cheap; even headphones with integrated mic are better than having a single, shared laptop for multiple people.

Also, it would be great if the meetup did not happen at the same time as my trumpet class, but that’s asking for too much :trumpet:

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@regis You make a good point about the microphones. And I think in the future we will move the time around. I don’t think we can accommodate all the timezones, but at least we can provide some variety in the time.

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