Prior to 2020, most data sprints were held in person during intensive 8-hour-long days. Data Umbrella founder, Reshama Shaikh, for example, led several in-person sprints in New York (2017, 2018, 2019), Nairobi (2019) and San Francisco (2019). Data Umbrella had always been interested in developing online resources and exploring ways to enable virtual participation, but this was not able to become a priority until 2020 when the pandemic forced everything online including data sprints. It was clear that an 8-hour in-person event could not just switch to being an 8-hour online event. So the move to online data sprints required the team to rethink the format and mechanisms of the event.
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Behind the Scenes: What It Takes to Run Data Umbrella’s scikit-learn Open Source Sprints, March 2022