I think it might be valuable in the discussion to reference some of the statistics that informed the original admin discussion that led to these potential changes. These ideas didn't just come out of the blue, as far as I know there has been decreased involvement, and more and more rushing as the event has aged through the years, so changes seemed necessary. That's my understanding anyway.
OK: these are the stats from the surveys that I posted in the Admin area. The questions where reduced to Yes (Y), No (No), Undecided (U), No Answer (-), Rate is the Answer Rate (Percentage of people answering) and Rank is the Rank of the Answer Rate (1 highest).
In addition, I feel the fast-paced, thirty-day rush up to release day is one of the endearing features of NANY.
That is not supported in entrant surveys; in fact, I think it was the opposite.
My memory was in the ball park but not concerning numbers. It was about 2/3 happy with time 1/3 not: still, we felt that was significant.
DonationCoder Support Enough Support?
Everyone answered this question: 93% Yes! Improvement on last year Areas of more support?
Most people (71%) didn't have areas of more support, though the 2 who did were both around volunteers/helpers:
More support comments
- Helpers Pledge sooner
- Finding volunteers to give assistance.
Less comments than last year: I'm not sure this means that there should have been more comments -- the whole event this year seems burdened with apathayToo much Nagging/Not enough communication
Most people were happy with the level of communication, though one person did say that they thought it was too much (and one didn't answer).RedmineSet up Redmine
Only 2 members (14%) set up a Redmine account.
This is interesting given the fact that last year it was mentioned in the survey that more project management tools would be appreciated.Set up Redmine later
A further 21% (3 members) said they'd set up Redmine later: that's a total of 35% (5 members) who have intentions of using Redmine.Redmine Comments
Some of the reasons that Entrants didn't set up RedMine:
- I didn't want to have to deal with learning how to do RedMine while I was concentrating on getting my project completed.
- I wouldn't know what to do with it.
- I've waned to use Mercurial CVS integration but it did not work.
RedMine was a bit of a last minute thing which is reflected in this comment:
- There were also small problems with getting any kind of information about default account types to set them properly for participants.
Redmine was installed to enable Entrants to use a bug tracker, wiki as well as a files area. This produced problems as not everyone wanted a RedMine project, which left them wanting for a place for storing their files (for example)NANY ChallengeEnough Time?
64% said they had enough time and 29% not. Very similar to last year.
This year I started NANY this year quite late as I had personal issues on the other side of the country, but it did feel shorter.
The time length comments seem to indicate that a month is good for something small or not quite finished (bugs), or otherwise you use something that is unreleased that you've been working on.Time Comments
Working with Template, Happy with form
- Never enough time
- Just not enough to fix bugs
- It felt shorter this year had enough time but i didn't use my time wisely enough.
- The rush is what makes the event fun. If more time was given there would be some loss of interest in the event.
- It was enough to produce something small. For anything larger the time is too short. Especially in this time of the year.
- Found announcement quite late
- Only because the app was in divelopment for 2.5 years!!
Nearly everyone was happy with the Template.
Some good thoughts from the suggestions that can be implemented:
- "Support this Entrant" field
- "Volunteers" field
- Maybe different templates for different types of applications
Comments on Requirements
- Supporters Field needed
- should be a bit more emphasis on supporting the projects, by putting a "donate to author" link in the top table like the review template has.
- Not particularly relevant to games
- Can use Form Letter Machine?
Some discussion of requirements, probably the most common was the disparity with "no attaching" to the thread.
How we manage files needs some more careful thought.Happy with existing Statistics
I managed to make a complete mess of Statistics and Attachments as it was again, a last minute thing. When we made the requirement to host the file somewhere apart from the forum we were thinking that would make it easier for Entrants and managing the files later on: this needs to be rethought as it is definitely not the case.
43% satisfaction indicates this, although it was better than last year. Of the 43% most focused on page views their thread attracted.Comments on Statistics
Most comments focused on the fact on the one hand we said no attachments then maybe did not make it clear that those statistics were available if they set up RedMine.
Entrant's statistics needs to be carefully thought out for next year, as not everyone will want the hassle to set up a RedMine account just for download stats.NANY RewardsHappy with Reward
I was surprised that one person said "what reward": seriously.Happy with Graphic options
Graphic Option Comments
Challenge ManagementTeaser / Pre-Release / Release worked
- include generic DC Logo
- twiggles cartoons
- graphics are a bit too graphical for me. Maybe a Badge type option that is a simple DC Branded, with cody, Nany graphic. Then each event the year changes and the badge remains the same. This way someone can line-up there prizes and have a consistent look.
- More white background
Nearly a third of Entrants didn't use the Teaser / Pre-Release / Final, although well over half did.Enough exposure (blogging, updates, etc)
21% (3) said they felt that they did not receive enough exposure -- which falls to my management.
This highlights that a more organised approach if the blogging / updates are an important part of the process.Use Ribbons?
Only two people used the ribbons: I was mildly disappointed in this, though it may reflect on the rush that 1 month can create…Ribbon Comments
- Forgot x2
- felt like it would be overkill and i have no other site to put them on.
- No other website x3
- didn't know x2
Last year 24% said that they would have used more support and 36% gave suggestions of more support.
Interestingly, this year 36% used volunteers: so that makes me happy that those that complained / suggested seemed to make use of…Volunteer Comments
- 2 people said they needed skills not provided.
- 3 of the 7 that didn't said that because not required
- most of the help was graphics / icons
There were 32 suggestions in the thread 10 of which were added by Members of less than 50 posts: there is quite a deal of interest in getting their ideas implemented.
Although half of our Entrants checked the Suggestion Thread, only 2 Entrants found something to code. Most were more happy to do their own idea, a couple felt that they didn't have the skills.Suggestion Comments
Happy with Screencast?
50% were happy with the screen casts: the rest either didn't answer or didn't have a screencast to be happy about.
Interesting that no one equated the screencasts with support.Other Linking
only 2 were using the sceencasts on other sites; this should increase over time... surely??NANY FutureImpacted by quality criteria
A very mixed response, and strong on both Y and N sides.
Negative comments focused on:
- Lack of Time
- Lack of Fun
- Issue of App Type
Positive comments focused on:Comments
Ready to Run Typing OK?
- I'm not sure I'd have time to roll out something that took more development effort.
- I wouldn't participate. NANY was supposed to be a fun event, not a release-a-commercial-quality-app-on-new-years.
- Great Idea
- It is a Challenge: improved requirements are optional, but all apps that meet the requirement will receive a special NANY Spotlight, or Featured NANY Project. Extra publicity, more praise, and maybe even a slightly improved reward. In the spirit of NANY, however, I don't think that any apps should be rejected.
- Depend on available time
- Need more time
- As long as there is a category for the little guys
- I don't think this is a good idea simply because there are people out there that won't even bother thinking about NANY let along writing something if there was a stipulation like this in place.
- As long as it's in my skills
- I believe that good quality is must have so any sort of guideline or coding standards to be followed will definitely be welcome. I do believe it would make the contest event better, more interesting/fair, etc.
No one disapproved of a "Ready to Run", though 3 were unsure: which is seen in the comments.
The negative comment address:
- programmes of other OS (how to test)
- disappointment from downgrade
Excellence award pursued?
- Alpha, Beta, Release Candidate, Release are all fairly common terms in the industry. So I see no reason not to use them regarding the entries. I actually seems rather irresponsible not to.
- I have always thought that alpha, beta, pre prefixes are meant to tell something. People should usually be aware that if something is not marked as final it can sometimes backfire.
- Give time to correct
- what happens if an app is submitted that is meant to be run on an OS other than what the testers have available? (I am thinking Mac here) Would these apps be automatically barred from the "Ready to Run" label, even if they are ready to run under the right circumstances?
- This is why I don't "Teaser"
- Good for users
- Great idea
- It doesn't make sense to me that anyone would submit as a final release a program that doesn't run. If it's not ready to run, then it seems to me that the deadline was not met.
- Benefit the event
Only 50% said that they'd pursue an excellence award and 35% said they definitely would not.
This highlights the differing motiviations of NANY Entrants.Excellence Award Comments
Mini NANYs good idea?
- Depends on criteria
- I code for fun. If it starts feeling like a job, I want to get paid.
- How about voting?
- I would aim towards it, for sure. I think that fits in with the NANY Spotlight mentioned above.
- further encouragement to come up with something good, instead of just with something.
- I'd have to disagree with this. I think part of the charm of NANY is that there is no specific singling out of apps. The top ones seem to do it of their own merit and that's more "fair" to me. Let it naturally happen, I suppose.
- I am not experienced enough to submit a substantial entry.
- It may be nice for some people but I am not one of them. I do not look for fame
- If something truly stands out…I see no problem with saying so. Not to mention that it couldn’t hurt as an incentive to try a bit harder to create something wonderful.
The Mini NANY Experiment received mixed thoughts from our Entrants this year: 57% thought it was a good idea, but only 43% thought it was good for them (make an entry)Use Mini NANYs?
The mix of comments is rather interesting:
- 4 didn't like the idea that Mini NANY was a safety net
- 6 Thought it was a good idea for something small
This indicates that the Entrants would prefer Mini NANY to be a type of NANY rather than a class, that you still aimed for a Mini NANY rather than fell into it because you didn't succeed at NANY.Mini NANY Comments
- If I failed to properly grasp the size/scope of an application, and effectively bit-off-more-than-I-could-chew deadline wise … Then I would be compelled to consider myself as having failed (e.g. Did Not Finish). Mini NANYs tend to bring the smaller Coding Snack class applications to mind…and there is really nothing wrong with that assumption … Especially if it is (a perfect “fit”) done exceptionally well.
- There are two different ways of doing things: small steps and big ones. I know I could post something for Mini NANY right away because I have dozen of small tools I wrote and use often. But this would mean no more pressure and systematic work. I know I prone to be lazy and it would be easier but[span style="mso-spacerun: yes"] [/span]with small submission I could not fully use my skills. I prefer to be pushed sometimes. It may sound little bit S/M but it is better to push me in such situations. I just hate lazy part of me and appreciate rough lessons 'cause sometimes this is the best way to improve.
- Good safety net
- If you are expecting more substantial projects, not knowing exactly what that means, I could assume that everything I have ever written would probably have been a Mini-NANY.
- I didn't like this idea/section because I think it dilutes NANY and makes things confusing. If something is PoC, maybe it doesn't belong in NANY?
- If it didn't fit as a NANY
- I believe that the Mini NANY section should be for any Entries that are either a proof-of-concept (as suggested) or apps/extensions/plugins that do not add significant functionality; things like themes, dictionaries, or small useful shortcuts would fall into this category, in my mind.
- I would venture to suggest that this is already a preferable solution to your "Ready to Run" idea. But I would want to try an all-or-nothing personally.
- I use Nany to give me a push to complete ideas that I have. I strive for a complete, polished submission.
- However the main event is what counts
- Have lots of ideas not suited to full NANY