Fresh off the 4th of July weekend, one of our largest tech teams hosted a 2 ½ day internal Hackathon. There were no restrictions on what projects could be done, and ideas ranged from original inventions, solutions to customer requests, internal tools, and experiments with new technology. Engineers pitched their ideas to recruit team members, sometimes survived on as little as three hours of sleep per night to get them finished, and had free energy drinks (delivered by Amazon Now) and pizza for fuel.
In the end, 15 projects by 38 engineers were finished and presented to a panel of judges and audience of peers. Three awards were determined by the judging panel and three were determined by audience vote—including a “Biggest Blowout” award to the most impressive project that failed to complete on time.
It was a great opportunity for focused collaboration on something different than our day-to-day work (sometimes with colleagues you wouldn’t normally get to work with), and seeing all the great ideas actually coded and presented at the end was super inspirational.