The all-nighter used to mean sleep-deprived sessions in university labs or libraries writing dissertations, fuelled by strong black coffee. But what was once the preserve of students with bad time-keeping has in recent years been adopted by big businesses as a way to encourage a hyper-productive and collaborative environment where coders, programmers and designers meet to share ideas and skills in a focused, fun and competitive arena. Here at Sage we didn’t want to miss out on the experience and recently organized an intensive (and intense) Hackathon.
Four global scrum teams contributing to the platform development of Sage Enterprise Management split in six competition teams sat down for 24 solid hours, from noon ‘til noon. To organize this event, we worked with our partner MongoDB, the document-oriented database. We prepared the Hackathon by mixing the original scrums into six teams, comprising developers, designers, product owners and quality engineers. Each team was given one development topic to realize end-to-end, from conception to demonstration…in just 24 hours.
The shared goal was to boost innovation and improve the customer experience in the latest incarnation of Sage’s business suite for mid-sized enterprises. It proved to be a great opportunity for the teams to get together, share their experiences of their day-to-day work and practice the delivery and demonstration phases – the key pillars of any Hackathon.
In terms of results it was hugely inspiring to see the sheer potential of the Enterprise Management platform, and how flexible it is in terms of future product development. Although this was just a taster (there will be much more to follow) our first Hackathon taught us a huge amount. Primarily we learned how much you can innovate and achieve in such a short time and how to overcome barriers with excellent team collaboration …with the pride of having achieved something you believe in.
I have no doubt that it will quickly become an embedded part of our culture, and a successful part of our DNA. Here’s to the next one!