Kicking off 2018 with 3 (great!) Hackathon Projects
Hackathons are a part of the culture at Busbud! Twice a year, our team members put their usual jobs aside for 3 days to work on a project that they think is interesting and worthwhile – whether exploring something new in the product, for the company culture or something else they’ve been itching to work on. Here are few reasons why we like hackathons:
- Empowering our team members to get creative: Some problems may take the back seat in the routine of daily work. Hackathons allow our team members to take a step back and think critically about how we can improve our company. It enables them to put their creative problem solving skills into action and provides grounds for many awesome and innovative ideas to turn into reality.
- Fostering team collaboration, knowledge sharing and learning: Hackathons bring team members that don’t usually work together to collaborate and learn from one another. On top of that, individuals get the opportunity to join projects that involve work outside their usual job functions, which allows them to train different brain muscles and improve their abilities.
- Having fun: Our hackathons’ key aspect is good ole’ fun! Hackathons are occasions for the team to unwind, diversify their work, mingle with different team members, get “fake” competitive with other teams and eat pizza late in the evening at the office.
Here is a brief overview of some of the projects our team worked on last week:
Improve search performance 🏆 🚌 👏
The team took a three-pronged approach to test how Busbud’s search performance can be improved. The first was to focus on reducing page weight and deliver a stripped down, performance focused search experience that would load very quickly. The second used machine learning to improve the speed with which results are served, and the third proposed various optimizations in our databases.
These prototypes provided invaluable insights on how we can improve Busbud, and are being currently studied by our Engineering team so we can serve our customers at the speed of light!
Values in Our Office
Being super helpful, sustainable, having an independent spirit and going places are our core values at Busbud. This team’s objective was to incorporate them to the space we work in everyday. Over 3 days, they undertook actions to concretely demonstrate our values in our workspace. Here are a few examples of what they did:
- Preparing guidelines for purchasing locally sourced and sustainable office supplies;
- Creating a washbot that randomly selects two people everyday who’ll be responsible for dishwasher duty for the day;
- Putting up a travel map in the office where team members can pin the places they’ve visited, where the pins are color coded to describe a feature of the place (ex: blue pin means nice beaches, green pins means great scenery);
- Purchasing a compost bin for the office so we can make use of our food waste (awesome!).
Busbud Status Board
At Busbud, we like to let the numbers do the talking. Being data-driven is fundamental to the way we work, so when the idea of creating a dashboard on our office Monitor where we can display our key metrics was pitched by our developer Benoit, team members were immediately on board.
The final product not only shows data that is most important to team members, but is also controllable remotely via smart phones and team members are able to post custom messages on the screen!
Hackathon MVP Profile: Carl
Carl was applauded for his hard work during the hackathon, notably in improving our office environment and taking initiatives to make Busbud a more sustainable workplace, as part of the Values in Our Office project.
Read about our previous hackathon projects: