BeGeistert Haiku Conference 2019 options

Hello all,

I’ve just got my managements approval in principal for potentially using Pivotal London as the meet up location for this year. Apologies it’s taken a while - people have been away on holiday or paternity leave.

I’ll finalise the costs and logistics and post on this topic when I have the information.

In the meantime if people want to suggest alternatives so the community can pick their favourite concept, that’d be great!


I would like to attend if it was held in London. Probably not if else where.

I apologise in advance for the length but I like being accurate. 8o)

London Proposal:-

This proposal focusses on using my employer’s offices - Pivotal. We support and do engineering for many open source projects including Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes, RabbitMQ, Spring, amongst others. We also allow our offices and spaces to be used by open source projects such as Haiku!

We may be able to get some of my colleagues to come help us out or run relevant lunch and learns too. Some of our Engineering is based out of London with C, C++, Go and Java all prevalent. As a big Lean Startup / Agile development enablement Lab, I could also ask a colleague from Labs to come help us scope upcoming work and help us prioritise features, if that mentoring would be helpful too.

London at that time of year is very nice, with the leaves falling but not too dark yet. Central London is typically a few degrees warmer than elsewhere in the UK too as it’s such a large city. We have all the central tourist sites within a 15 minute tube ride of the office. If we choose a date option including the 5th November we also benefit from the annual Bonfire Night celebrations and fireworks displays throughout London. A great social event for us to use.

The accommodation that is good quality but very cheap is the UK’s Youth Hostel Association (YHA). YHA (King’s Cross) St Pancras is just outside the Eurostar terminal, and only 6 stops on the Circle line from Paddington station (if you fly in to Heathrow), and 4 stops (< 10 minutes) from the Pivotal offices.

I’m proposing mid week rather than end of week and weekend as the facilities in the City of London are all available during the week, but not great on weekends. E.g. food carts near the offices, food deliveries etc. It’s also much easier with our building security. It also happens to be cheaper for accommodation during the week rather than Fri/Sat nights which are the most expensive. I realise of course this would eat in to day job time for many, so I have three date options below with different pros and cons.

Be sure to read the full pros and cons list below before endorsing this proposal as it’s a little different than previous years due to the time the office is open and may not appeal to all.

To whet your appetite for an Autumn London visit, here are:-

The full details:-

Prices below do not include any funding from Haiku Inc that may or may not be used to subsidise costs, as I believe has happened in previous years.

Working Location: Pivotal London offices, Old Street, City of London

Office features:-

  • We can have a 10 person meeting room for during the day
  • After 6 PM we can use the event space area until 9 PM
  • Event space area has a podium, great for demos or presentations
  • We can participate in the office stand up at the start of the day, and share what’s going on and any help we need
  • We can use break out areas including table tennis, event space, and chill out areas

Potential positives of the Pivotal London office

  • Nice central city location that won’t cost us anything!
  • We get our own large meeting room to work in
    • Air conditioned
    • Free WiFi
    • Very large whiteboards to joint work on
    • Large TV screen for sharing content
    • Zoom conferencing capability if we need it
    • Gets cleaned daily
  • We have engineering based in the London office, with people who know many languages and work on container virtualisation
    • I could approach people with Go knowledge, for example, and see if they can help us port Go to Haiku.
    • We also have C++ programmers locally and some may well want an additional challenge
    • If there are experts in Pivotal in topics of general interest, I could ask them to give a talk or lunch and learn session to our group
  • At the company stand up each day we can tell people what we’re up to, ask them to help out with things we’re stuck on, both to Pivots and customers on site
  • We can use the event space up until 9 PM in the evening (if booked in advance)
    • Seating for around 50 people
    • Attached Kitchen we can use
    • Beer fridge (We’d have to provide our own beer)
    • Ping pong tables area
    • Projector screen, podium, audio system
    • Great for lunch and learn sessions, or early evening hosted events
    • Beers permissable in the shared space after 6PM
  • We can get Deliveroo/Sainsbury’s delivery for food to the office, or we’re in walking distance of hundreds of street food vendors
    • Although Pivotal offices provide free breakfast and drinks, that’s for employees and customers, but we can bring our own in and use the kitchen and dining area, and the fridges
    • Good food and pubs directly outside the office, including a traditional London pub
    • No deliveries on weekends
  • ‘Do what works, Do what’s right, Be Kind’ atmosphere encouraging collaborative working, psychological safety, totally open and friendly development environment
  • Casual work wear in the office, so jeans and non-offensive t-shirts are fine - it feels like a West Coast startup rather than a corporate office

Potential negatives to the Pivotal London Office, or London in general

  • Everyone has to sign in and agree to an NDA when they do so - Purely because all visitors work in an open shared space (including customers who are competitors to each other, interestingly)
  • I’d need to provide a maximum attendee list in advance for the evening activities for building (not Pivotal) security (I can sign in any visiting guests during the day as an employee)
  • No photography and video of the work space is allowed. Should be fine in our own room. This is a privacy requirement.
  • We’d have to finish at TBD (9pm or 11:30 pm, confirming tomorrow) each day as that’s the kick out time for the building owners’ security team
    • The tube’s Northern line back to the YHA doesn’t operate after midnight anyway - so no ‘all nighters’ unless we find an all night cafe, of which there are many, just watch out for Hermione and Death Eaters though…
    • I’d have to be present after 6pm, and each morning as host, limiting all nighters again
  • Weekend access is possible, but we’d only have one building pass (mine) to share between us unless I can corral other volunteers from Pivotal. This means co-ordinated lunches / arrival / leaving - also, for the same reason people couldn’t just walk in outside of 7am-7pm during the week.
  • Couldn’t leave equipment in the rooms overnight. I do have a locker but its small.
  • General London issues:-
    • London is an expensive city
    • Uncertainty around passport control if Brexit happens on Oct 31st and not before (Britain has already agreed to allow business and leisure travel - only issue is any new paperwork/processes that haven’t had time to bed in yet.)

Accommodation (we would have some places organised for the group, some individuals may make their own arrangements)

  • Youth Hostel - London St Pancras (4 tube stops away from the office) -
    • Located just outside St Pancras Eurostar station
  • Below prices all include my members discount of 10% (I’m assuming I’ll make a group booking for a room of 6 or more)
  • Option 1: Last week of October, Thur - Sun -> £30 per night
    • Little food choice on weekends
    • Single pass for building access only
    • More expensive accommodation
  • Option 2: First week of November, Tue - Fri -> Incorporates Tuesday Nov 5th Fireworks, cheapest accommodation option at £23.40 per night
  • Option 3: First week of November, Wed-Sat -> £28.80 per night
    • Little food choice on weekends
    • Single pass for building access only
    • More expensive accommodation
    • I wouldn’t be able to do the Sunday 10th November due to our annual military parades. I’d have to leave some time on the Saturday. For those thinking of staying elsewhere for a day extra, the Saturday night accommodation will be busier due to the parade. (Armistice day parade)
  • Other dates possible in Sep/Oct, but pricier nearer the summer
  • All options have the possibility of continental breakfast (croissants, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, fruit juice, tea/coffee) @ £4.49 per person per day
  • Free Wifi
  • Open plan cafe area
    Lunch & evening meal options for the weekdays
  • Sainsbury’s delivery - a supermarket, so we can order bread/meat/etc. and keep in the office fridge, as required
  • Deliveroo know our office well - take away food for each day - 641 restaurant options near the office -
  • Whitecross street market - largest food choice in London, a 5 minute walk from the office - - They also do seasonal stalls too, so maybe pumpkin pasty anyone?
  • Look mum no hands - Cafe and Bike workshop (they actually run Pivotal’s kitchen too), 5 minutes from the office -
  • Various local and international chains are within walking distance of the office, including every type of food you can imagine

Incidental costs :

  • Tube costs £2.40 return in zone 1 each journey, and can be paid for with contactless payment cards, or you can purchase an Oyster card on arrival (and get the remaining credit back on leaving)
  • Food and drink for each day at individuals’ expense of around £5 for lunch, or £5-£20 for an evening meal (some snacks/drink during the day may well be provided for the group as last year, TBC)

Do let me know your thoughts!


Hi Adam,

for me it would be useful if the event would go from 31.10 - 3.11. then I would not have to take extra vacation. I do not think the option with your offices is not bad, as you have more programmers, but most people will not want to join the daily hike from the office to the office.
In the past, I’ve noticed that most want to program long and then only fall in bed. My question, there is also a conference room in the youth hostel so that you could let the event take place. Would you like to ask what such a room in the hostel costs.
To reduce the costs you can at Haiku inc. Requests. I did not do that at the time.

Greeting lorglas

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Great feedback, thanks. I’ll look in to the YHA option and see what the costs (if any) would be.

I also wrote 4 tube stops - it’s not - it’s 2. Door to door would be under 10 minutes.


Well it would certainly be different from what we usually did. That’s not necessarily good or bad. Maybe some people who usually attend would not come, but maybe for others it happens to be more convenient.

In my case I’m fine taking a few days off work, and a 7AM-9PM schedule sounds fine (that’s already 14 hours a day), even better if we can stay until 11:30.

If we can get some office space for free, that’s definitely an interesting option, as Haiku inc funds are not unlimited.

For the record, we have the Alchimie demoparty on November 1st-3rd, which I’ll attend, and possibly @PulkoMandy.


are new information available?

regards lorglas

Hi all,

We still have the option of the Pivotal UK office if we want it. Any thoughts on confirmed / preferred dates? Did anyone want any more information on accommodation alternatives?

Just let me know what you need.



Date constraints:

  • Alchimie on november 1-3 (I may or may not go, but mmu_man is part of the orga team and will definitely be there)
  • GSoC mentor summit on october 17-20 (it will be in Germany this year)
  • Capitole du Libre, likely november 16-17 but official date not set yet

Other than that (and Brexit, but I have an european passport, that should hopefully be enough), no particular constraint for me. Set a date other than the above mentionned and I’ll find a way to be there :slight_smile:

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Hello Adam,
Do you have new information for us?
I think the time is up to organize a flight and a bed.
It gets tight for me because I want to attend a C ++ course at the end of October until the end of November. In the first week of October I wanted to go on vacation with the family.

We would be with a BeGeistert in the spring of 2020 in Hamburg?


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Would be fine

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Capitole du Libre has just announced their dates, it’s indeed 16-17 November.

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Hi there,
So, I’m not sure the London sprint is happening and with the short delays now it seems unlikely.

I’m thinking of organizing something before or after FOSDEM in Brussels, as some of us already attend that. The plan is to rent some AirBNB flat or house with space for hacking and some beds, and people can join us there and hack on things.

Preetpal, our Outreachy student, would like to attend the sprint and FOSDEM (to get the most out of her Outreachy travel grant) so it makes sense to group the events together.

If there is enough interest, I’ll see if I can find a suitable place for this. Otherwise, I’ll just book something smaller as we usually do and for a shorter time.

How long would you all like to stay? 1 week? 2-3 days?

Indeed it’d probably be simpler for those attending FOSDEM. But it’s not that many people though. I don’t have anything scheduled around FOSDEM for now, so no real blocker.

Before FOSDEM won’t work for me at work. til 2 days after might be possible.