What is a “Hackathon” ?
Hackathons have become a popular way for businesses to encourage creativity, innovation, and create a strong team culture – so what exactly are they?
- They are 24 –48-hour events.
- Traditional work is dropped.
- Team projects for new ideas are developed.
The break from your day-to-day work can be refreshing and motivating. Hackathons allow you and your employees the ability to see problems from different angles, and pool together skills and roles to provide solutions in a dynamic and creative way.
“Hackathons provide a platform for engineers to work on innovative ideas and solutions. They can experiment with new technologies and explore new ways of solving problems. This can lead to the development of new features or products that the team may not have otherwise considered.”
-Mike Bradbury | Chief Technology Officer, Jugo.
Introduction to Jugo’s Hackathon
Jugo’s hackathon was a 48-hour event that brought together teams of employees from various engineering departments to work on innovative projects. The goal was to encourage creativity and collaboration among employees and to push the boundaries of what was possible.
Prior to the hackathon taking place, our teams submitted ideas that would then be chosen on to progress to development.
- 30 ideas were submitted.
- 15 projects were chosen and put into development.
- 15 projects were set aside to be worked on in the future.
Our leadership team wanted to ensure that they stayed at arm’s length during the hackathon. It was important that teams could self-organize and manage their own time. For most of the team the ability to work independently felt freeing and meant that they were accountable for their work.
At Jugo we believe in giving our employees the opportunity to take the reins of leadership and and navigate a project on their own.
We also ensure that they have fun whilst doing it (a few boxes of pizza won’t harm them)!
“The jugo hackathon came at a great time for the business. We’d grown rapidly over a short period of time, so seeing the new members of the team getting stuck in and innovating with people outside of their teams was great to see. We got a lot of valuable output for the future of our product. If your company isn’t doing hackathons yet, I couldn’t recommend it enough!“
-Josh Richards, Head of Platform and Test, Jugo.
Fostering a Culture of Creativity
Here at Jugo, we believe in creativity and purpose.
By giving our employees the freedom to work on innovative projects and providing them with the necessary resources, we are able to create an environment that encourages creativity and experimentation. The hackathon also allowed our employees to work with team members and work friends who might not have worked together otherwise.
The Power of Diversity in Innovation
One of the most significant benefits of the hackathon was the diversity of perspectives that came together to work on projects. Teams were made up of employees from different departments, which meant that people with different skills and backgrounds were able to collaborate and bring new ideas to the table.
We believe that the diversity of thought is a powerful force in driving innovation and pushing boundaries.
The Importance of Clear Goals
While the hackathon was all about encouraging creativity and experimentation, it was important that teams had clear goals to work towards.
Why are clear goals important?
- Helps focus efforts
- Ensures that projects are aligned to Jugo’s overall business goals.
- Helps to ensure that the projects have real-world applications and are aligned to Jugo’s mission.
The Benefits of Active Learning
Jugo’s hackathon was an excellent example of how we drive active learning in action, and how other businesses can do it too. Our colleagues were given the opportunity to learn new skills, experiment with new ideas, and receive immediate feedback on their work. This hands-on approach to learning was a powerful way to foster innovation and help employees develop new skills that they could apply to their work in the future.
Celebrating Success and Building Momentum
At the end of our hackathon, the teams presented their projects to the rest of the Leeds team. The hackathon concluded with a celebration of the teams’ hard work and the announcement of the winning projects. This celebration was a powerful way to build momentum and encourage employees to continue pushing the boundaries of what was possible.
“It was an absolute pleasure to see so many talented people absolutely LOVING what they do, and the results were extraordinary.”
– Rob Cooper, Engineering Manager, Jugo.
In conclusion, our hackathon was a powerful example of how we and businesses can encourage creativity and innovation among their employees.
By fostering a culture of creativity, promoting collaboration and diversity of thought, setting clear goals, promoting active learning, and celebrating success, we are able to empower our people to think outside the box and innovate.
The hackathon was a resounding success, and it’s clear that it will continue to have a positive impact on our culture and future success.
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