Outbrain Hackathon is a 36-hour event, during which Outbrain employees plan, build and present an original product or innovation. Each team has only five minutes to share their creation with Outbrain’s entire international staff via webcast.
Although Hackathon participants have to have a ton of stamina and resilience to ensure that their products are presentable at the end of the day-and-a-half exercise, participants are rewarded with food, drinks, and laughs, and the company is rewarded with new and innovative products, like our new employee orientation video:
This year we had 52 participants on 14 teams. Groups were chosen by dividing the 52 employees into groups that typically don’t work together. This enabled unfamiliar employees to mingle with one another, but it also introduced new methods and techniques to employees who may not have experienced them otherwise.
Some of the creations from this year’s Hackathon are so brilliant and Outbrain-specific that I’m forced to keep them secret. However, I can say that one of the products maps content trending across our network in a way that no other company has ever monitored popular content before. Another team designed a way to save power by optimizing our servers.
As Dalit Heldenberg, Product Manager at Outbrain, wrote about the event last year: “It turned out, the Hackathon was a good practice for Minimal Viable Product (or MVP) — a technique that is important to Outbrain – first iteration deployment where each group chose the features that are crucial to focus on and implement.”
I wish I could share the other nine concepts that emerged from the Hackathon, but since I can’t, please feel free to enjoy this blooper reel from the event (video in Hebrew)!
For a quick recap of what happened at Hackathon 2011, check out last year’s post.