Running a Hack Night is Broadway, Not Hollywood

One of the more monotonous features of running hack night is repeating all the introductory material for new folks. Existing members do not enjoy hearing the same thing over and over. Organizers dislike having to hear themselves deliver the same monologue over one hundred times. A natural inclination has been to try to move this material into README documents or pre-recorded videos. This rarely works. When new members show-up expecting Broadway, you can’t try to give them a Hollywood experience.

Every single time we have tried to automate or streamline these processes, new members inevitably ignore these opportunities, no matter how well done. They show-up expecting to interact and work with other people, so being told to do independent work does not meet their hopes and needs. In many ways this makes sense. If you showed up to a concert and the artist just played a recording of the album, you would feel robbed.

Want to get out of the monotony? Embrace the live nature of your hack night programming. Try new jokes. Refine and edit your script. See if you can re-jigger the process to work more smoothly. There is space for creativity and expression in the work. There is also room to be more effective and learn. You just need to look for it.

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