Hackathons in the World of Remote Working

by Hadean Team

We have already taken a number of steps to help our business navigate through the recent pandemic, including implementing a COVID-19 Business Continuity consisting of three core pillars – communication, morale and execution – to assist with the transition to a remote working environment. 

Whilst we have introduced many new initiatives to help uphold our pillars such as daily updates from leadership, weekly social events and quizzes, and a relentless focus on continued execution against our objectives….we have also continued some Hadean traditions such as our quarterly business Reviews (QBRs) and Hadeathons.

QBRs 

Every quarter at Hadean, we pause our work for the day and come together as a team for a QBR to review the progress we have made, get aligned on future plans and workshop new ideas. Everyone at the company is involved in these events, regardless of the topic. For example, if our focus is on developing new technical features for one of our products, teams outside of Product and Engineering have input, including our Marketing and Ops teams. We don’t believe decisions should be made in isolation by a handful of senior people. Instead, we ensure that everyone in the company has a voice and feels part of the project which creates strong bonds and relationships within the company.

Hadeathons

At the end of every quarter we also hold a 2-week ‘hackathon’ (Hadeathon) where several teams of developers come together to create prototypes that innovate on a theme or improve upon an existing project. Like most hackathons, the Hadeathon is a competition and we award prizes to the top five, as voted on by our internal panel of judges and our people. Votes are based on what is the most impactful to our customers or to us internally to build a better product for our customers. 

Bringing these events together

This week, we hosted our first remote mini-QBR where those who took part in the Hadeathon played back their projects to the rest of the company who had the opportunity to vote on their favourites. We had some spectacular ideas and demos from all our engineers with lots of great prizes for the winners …all voted by their peers and our X Factor judges! 

Hadeathon participants present their projects to the rest of the company via Google Hangouts

The winners 

The final top five winners were chosen by our panel of judges based on what is the most impactful to our customers or to us internally to build a better product for our customers. The four runners up for the challenge were Francis Russell (fifth place), Izaan Siddiqi (fourth place), Patrick Gordon (third place) and Karl Jahn (second place). All of the runners up produced lots of great ideas that will build our brand as building novel deep tech and empower our customers further. Douglas Wilson took first place with his idea to offer Aether Engine as a managed application from the Azure Marketplace. Moving to a managed application would remove the need for an infrastructure engineer, streamlining the setup process. The standard of this Hadeathon was very high and it produced lots of initiatives that we can put into our roadmap.

We believe it is vital that everyone has opportunities to create new ideas and help shape the future of our product roadmap and our business plans. All of the projects were delivered to an extremely high standard, and have set the wheels in motion for a number of new features within our product roadmap.  

More than anything, we were able to demonstrate that the events and fun things that make Hadean a great place to work, can still be done during a remote working environment.