Cucumber open contributors event
Cukenfest | Posted June 14, 2021

Each year, we host an event for our open source contributors (usually one full day tagged onto CukenFest run in open space style). This year, we chose to run a half-day remote event.

Given we use Zoom every day for work
When we run an event for our contributors
Then we like to mix it up a bit…

…so we used gather.town, which was lots of fun! It feels like a video game – you have an avatar, and you move around different spaces where you can interact with other people’s avatars and a variety of items. We had three discussion tracks running concurrently, as well as some great hallway chats. We turned on the “global build” option, which gave full build permissions to all attendees; many people got creative in decorating the space, playing games with each other, and building new areas for ad-hoc meetings.

We shipped swag boxes to attendees in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Australia!

The swag theme was “to help you work in the open” and the swag boxes were beautifully packed with a Cucumber‑branded hooded sweatshirt, a towel/blanket/scarf, a Cucumber‑branded sun tent for working on your laptop outdoors, a vacuum cup for hot drinks, funky green sunglasses made of recycled plastic and bamboo, and good old Cucumber stickers! Here, Matt Wynne shows off how to make an impact, Cucumber-style.

We unboxed the swag together at the beginning of the event, and everyone was really surprised and grateful. This includes all of our cats, because it turns out that the laptop sun tent is a perfect size for cats (motto: “I fits, I sits!”), so of course they all had to go investigate.

Oh, discussions? Where we actually talked about open source? Yeah, we did that too! Our agenda (created on the day, in true open space style) included both technical and non‑technical discussion topics; a few of those were:

  • Markdown
  • Cucumber reports feedback
  • Behat/Cucumber convergence and codesharing
  • Cucumber Lambda
  • Inclusivity – renaming master branches
  • Alternative formulation formats
  • Living documentation without Cucumber

We also discussed larger issues, such as how the members of a small team should prioritise the work that will make the most impact.

Oh, and a kitten cam from YouTube was playing on one of the virtual screens in gather.town.

We’re grateful to our contributors for all the time they put in. We’re always looking for new contributors! If you’re interested in joining our small team, or learning more about it, come along to the Cucumber community Slack and say hello. And keep an eye out for CukenFest, which will happen in some form later this year ⁠–⁠ we’d love to see you there.