Our first internal Hackathon that we held last October turned out to be an unforgettable highlight people have been talking about for weeks later. Having all of our teams under one roof was an excellent opportunity to work on some cool ideas that have been drifting around.
Connecting success and development teams
“We knew people in this company have great ideas, so we thought let’s organize this Hackathon and give everyone a chance to put their ideas into practice and influence an area that they normally don’t get to work on. Anyone from the team could pitch their idea and form a team. There were no limitations – only that their idea should be connected to our company or business” – said Nithin, Senior Manager, Software Engineering.
Hearing the story behind each idea from team members themselves was much more powerful and engaging. Deeper learning occurred through group work on the projects. Non-tech folks got a better sense of how the development team worked and the dev guys appreciated that they could learn about other teams’ struggles first-hand.
There’s no doubt company Hackathons can generate plenty of amazing ideas. But the biggest value for us was gaining time to develop solutions that normally wouldn’t get to our roadmap. Out of 9 ideas, 3 are now at some stage of production or planned in Q4.
Hackathon gave everyone a chance to put things on hold and come together to focus on a single priority to ‘Innovate’. This allowed us to greatly speed up the whole development process and come up with working prototypes that we normally wouldn’t be able to complete in such a limited time span.
Even though not every idea born during a Hackathon can be implemented at the same speed and in the same fashion, it’s definitely better off than a discussion table. Finally, the team spirit we experienced during our Hackathon has been unparalleled. Given that you get your team’s buy-in, there aren’t many occasions that would make your team as excited and motivated as an all-company Hackathon.
Our internal Hackathon became a huge success thanks to each and every one that took part in it. It helped us build great momentum and we cannot wait to organize the next one.