Battle Prep

#osoc is about to get started; teams are almost assembled, you know which projects you'll be coaching and who will help you... Now you can start planning together with your coaches & councillors!

Here's a non-exhaustive list of things you can do to prepare for battle. If you need any guidance, explanation or tips, contact the organisation!

Not sure what to do as a coach, and with expert coaches or student coaches? Read all about tasks and Soft Skills & Expectations first.

Coaching teams together

Different roles

Project coaches

Half-time coaches will coach 1 team, full-time coaches will coach 2 teams.

The project coach makes sure the teams knows what to do, and creates the outline for the team (what does project management look like, what tools do we use to do project management, when do we do stand-ups, ...). See Decide on project management and structure for more information.

The project makes sure that when they're not there, the team also knows what to do (e.g. doing stand-ups by themselves, perhaps write down a summary in Discord, assign a student that takes the lead, ...).

Project coaches do a scoping session, with our without their expert coaches, together with the partner before osoc starts.

We make sure every coach has back-up, in the form of expert coaches and/or councillors. We try to pair coaches so they can fill each other's gaps, and they can learn from each other (especially for first-time coaches).

🎩Coordinate and consult with your expert coaches and councillors up front what the coaching strategy is. See "Decisions to make up front" to get an idea of what to figure out together before it starts.

Expert coaches (butterfly coaches)

Every project also has topic expert coaches that have knowledge about specific topics. As a project coach this is someone you can ping-pong with about for example the technical implications of a project as well.

Expert coaches give support to the students and project coaches in the form of consult and helping out when πŸ’©hits the fan.

🎩Check in with your project coach if they need any help on making project management decisions, exchange ideas and techniques, and see if they have a system in place when they are not there – so you know what to do when that πŸ’©hits that fan. See "Decisions to make up front" to get an idea of what to figure out together before it starts.


Councillors are volunteers that help out because they like the project, have a stake in it or just because they like osoc. They are specialists in certain fields that love to share their knowledge. There are two ways councillors help out:

  1. They hang out in Discord when they choose to, and if there's a question, they try to answer it!

  2. Some councillors give workshops during osoc.

We are trying this out in #osoc21 – and we'll see how it turns out! We are working on a list of councillors and their skills.

Student coaches

Student coaches are usually students that have been part of osoc before. They know how everything works, and they'll likely be a great help to you as well. They make sure that when there's no coach, they keep the team together and know where to ask help. They take on a bit more responsibility.

Get to know each other!

I don't know you, you don't know me.

  • Tell them what you're good at (skills and soft-skills like development, scoping sessions, challenging people, ...).

  • Tell them what you need help with.

  • Tell them about your coaching experience.

Decisions to make up front

Decide on how you'll...

Break the ice with your students

Find some lovely ideas on How to manage a team > Ice breakers ✨

Need more ideas? Drop a line in the discord coaches channel!

Pitch the project

The coaches will present the project in their Discord project channels once all students are in the channel. You'll get a clear project template before July starts, and links to relevant topics as well.

In a live edition, this will be presented live.

Decide on project management and structure

How are you going to guide your students day to day? Find some tips and tricks here: How to manage a team – and take a look at our tutorials on YouTube! We also have some cases where you could learn from different approaches to different teams and projects.

Some examples to take care of:

  • How will you track your todo's?

    • Decide who will teach the students

    • Decide on structure:

      • Backlog, To-do, In Progress, Blocked, In Review, Done?

    • Do you need labels?

      • Field: Back-end, Front-end, Design, Copy ...

      • Type: Enhancement, bug, question

      • Priority: High, medium, low, wont-fix ...

      • State of todo: Todo, In Progress, Blocked, To review, "Bad issue" (not well-written, nobody understands), question, invalid, duplicate, help wanted, ...

    • Where do you track issues?

      • GitHub? Kanban? Post-its? Trello?

  • Will you let your non-devs work in GitHub as well? Who teaches them?

  • Will you do stand-ups and stand-downs? What time?

  • How will you do scoping sessions and retrospects?

  • How will you give feedback at the end of osoc?

If you need any techniques, please contact the organisation, they are working on it now!

Decide on hand-over when you're not there

When you're not present, your students and student coaches need to know what to do. Decide on how you're going to do that. Some possibilities:

  • Assign a student to talk / type about what has been done in a structured way, for instance by using "kanban"

  • Type it yourself, so the students and other coaches can read it and have it close-by whenever they need it.

  • Perhaps also prepare some key elements your student coach needs to pay attention to when you're not here. For instance "Student A had trouble with this. Can you make sure to follow up on it?"

  • Create a shared calendar or excel sheet that outlines who to reach when, and who to ask for which kind of help (butterfly coaches and councillors as well).

Need ideas? Drop a line in the discord coaches channel!

Tips-and-tricks calendar

We are in progress of creating a calendar that is supplemental to the calendar with the actual deadlines, that focuses on project management and giving the right information at the right time. Are you interested in applying this technique? Get in touch!

Go to July 2021 😌

Go through the deliverables document

At the end of osoc, we make sure the partners and the open source community knows what this project was about, how to contribute and how to make it better. We made an exhaustive deliverable checklist to make sure this can happen!

pageDeliver Like a Pro

You can do this together or separately, and discuss if you still have questions beforehand. Ask the organisation to clarify if needed!

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