Suggestions for PGODs

Notes from the wrap-up sessions.


  • Schedule:
    • A lot of positive feedback on the varied-length session schedule
    • Short sessions might have been just a tad too short
    • Many people suggested the long session felt too long
    • Perhaps all we need is short sessions and we could add new topics for spill-over if we want to discuss them for longer
    • Perhaps with long sessions, people who have been coming for longer can be more empowered to end them early or employ the law of two feet
    • Suggestion to reverse the order (longer sessions earlier)
    • Probably more that didn't make it to my notes
    • Further discussion on the schedule was moved to the Google Group
  • Better turnout this time, helped the overall experience
  • How to get more topics / more people proposing topics? Encourage new people? Give some example topics? Other ideas?
  • Bigger marketing push (volunteers?)
  • More cross-functional people (CEO types)
  • It would be nice to hear more questions and more context about why we believe what we believe (in addition or as opposed to just declarative opinion statements)
  • Name tags!
  • Can we record the session? Further discussion here was moved to the Google Group


  • More people
  • More cross-sectional people (this time we had a designer and a CXO type, more of this is awesome)
  • Some folks are used to shorter (10-15 min sessions). There was a lot of nods to shorter sessions. There were also some support for longer sessions. Brian proposed variable length sessions (some short some long) for the next PGOD.
  • 3 sessions - this was a fault of Brian not realizing so many people were arriving late. Lesson learned: if enough people signed up, put up 3 sessions. Or add them after the first. More sessions = smaller groups (not necessarily, just more group sizes are possible).
  • +1 for the inspiration. Seemed to be positive, let's keep it going.
  • Some people really enjoyed the one large topic. Perhaps there is some value for a spaces-like discussion before the formal retrospective?


  • Facilitators should announce the date earlier (always announce the date even if we are are waiting on other details)
  • Venue was too hot (we probably don't need to go back there)
  • Many people still prefer Saturdays
  • Maybe try to get local tech celebrities to come?  That would be great!  Anyone know any?


  • The name "Geek Out Day" is an unfortunate choice.  It does not signal we are discussing technology (could be Star Wars discussions).  Some people like it.  Is this a problem?
  • Add a glossary to the site - yak shaving, bike shedding, project genocide, pulling the sweater, ...
  • What about occasional evening sessions (generally others like the morning)?
  • Parking lot seems like it will just keep growing
  • What about shorter sessions? 30 min?  15 min sessions?  Maybe for an evening session?
  • Facilitate spaces session at a local code camp?


  • Keep in mind, we only surveyed those in attendance!
  • Days/times: Saturday is good. Many people like the time because they have the rest of their day free for SOs, kids.  Many people thought it was WAY too early to be awake.  Generally, I think the families people win, but what about alternating morning and afternoon PGODs?
  • How often? Seems the consensus was either every month or every other month.
  • Location: Oakland seems to work for people.  But moving around might bring a nice change of scenery.  Perhaps have companies host once it's clear it's not a recruiting event.  Contact The Beauty Shoppe about donating space?
  • A way to signify how many people are interested in your topic. Maybe mark the paper?  What are the pros and cons of this?
  • Way to continue this discussion online with a smaller group. We have setup a group but made it private so we can control membership. If you want to join please visit the site and apply for membership.
  • Scheduling improvements are needed. 
    • Perhaps come up with "tracks."  Or at least indicate what category your suggestion falls under so we can make sure there is a good mix in each session.
    • Try a few half hour sessions
    • Start a thread in the group to crowd source other ideas