Hack Week: Efficiency edition

Thursday, 26 April 2012

We love Hack Week so much that we’ve been doing it once a quarter, and this time, the week’s theme was efficiency. For five days, we suspend all but the most critical projects to focus on building out new ideas and tools. Engineers and others from across the company self-organize into teams around whatever projects they’re most passionate about, new and old.

Collectively, we review and vote on our favorites — some hacks make it into product roadmaps, some improve our internal systems, and all of them teach us something about the breadth of what’s possible with a little extra passion and flexibility. People designed everything from a tool to quickly and easily test new features with users to a better way of finding open meeting rooms.

One of the big hits of the week was #CodeClass, an accelerated curriculum on JavaScript and Front-End engineering. Experienced coders from other disciplines learned how to write interfaces for their projects, and beginning coders from every department got started in programming by learning HTML and JavaScript. I was excited to work on it because skills exchange and personal development are such an important part of our culture here — over 150 people signed up for the three different levels, and our video production team even made a very professional promo spot for it:

We’ve already blocked out time for next quarter’s #hackweek, theme TBD. Personally, I plan on ignoring whatever the theme is and running another session of #CodeClass.

- Marcus Phillips, Software Engineer (@mracus)