They are just two of the many innovative projects that resulted from the hackathon we held in March 2017. This Hackathon was kicked off with an overwhelming amount of interest from the Visual Meta colleagues. In the past Hackathon participation had been limited to software developers, but as a result of an initiative by the Company Scrum Masters the invitation was extended to colleagues in all of our departments to engage in collaborative projects of a technical and non-technical nature. The theme of the event was left open and during the pitching session anyone could pitch an idea that could be of benefit to our product or employees.
After an exciting pitching round, nine cross-functional teams were formed, consisting of participants from Engineering, Product, Marketing, Sales, Sysadmin and Quality Management. The hackathon officially took place on a Thursday and Friday, but many teams were so dedicated to their projects that they worked tirelessly over the weekend to have their prototypes ready for the presentation and voting session on Monday morning.
Amongst some of the innovative ideas that teams came up with was TT occupied? . This team developed a tech solution for their daily challenge of arriving at the table tennis table only to find it already occupied. Improve Awareness of LadenZeile was an initiative that came up with suggestions, based on face to face interviews and data analysis, on how to improve general awareness of the LadenZeile platform. The CTR Prediction based on Images team set out to predict the CTR (how many users that see an image also click on it) by only looking at the image data. Visual Meta Escape is a fun mobile app game that a team developed for internal and external users. The Graphite/Grafana based Liveview team created a Liveview Server which periodically pushes collected data to a Graphite Database, providing a more flexible way to analyze and visualize the information. The participants from Instagram Extravaganza Bonanza worked on creating a corporate Instagram account to generate traffic and revenue for the LadenZeile platform.
This Hackathon the voting turnout hit an all time high, with 82 colleagues casting their votes for their favourite projects. The jury panel were given an additional 50 votes to allocate amongst teams as they wished. The three winning teams were Make Shops Happy Again (1st Place), DressMyMusic (2nd Place) and Ad Word Well (3rd Place). The Make Shops Happy Again team worked on finding a solution to selectively curb traffic that does not convert. The DressMyMusic team based their project on the idea that there is a strong correlation between people’s music and clothing taste. As a result, the team thought about using the Spotify API along with the LadenZeile content to help users discover clothes and other merchandise that match their music taste. The team from Ad Word Well set out to target the challenges that our Marketing department faces when generating an AdWords account for a website. They used machine learning/NLP techniques to extract Keywords from an inventory and cluster them to generate adGroups/campaigns.
Many of the projects created during this Hackathon will be considered by our Product department for further development. This year Visual Meta intends to hold a Hackathon event every Quarter. The upcoming Hackathon will take place at the end of Quarter Two and we excitedly anticipate the next iteration of innovative ideas.