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How We Run Hackathons at AddThis [2015 Q3 Hackathon Roundup]

web-visualization-work

Last Thursday, we held our second hackathon of the year. Employees gathered at the AddThis HQ in Virginia for 24-hours of hacking fun. From conference room construction to manipulating web browsers with music, there were tons of impressive projects, many of which were completed by Friday morning. Here’s a look at some of the action!

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7 Ways Hackathons Make Us a Better Company

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At AddThis, hackathons are a core component of our culture. They provide a great deal of value for our company — from exploring product improvements to supporting employee bonding. If you’re not familiar with hackathons, they’re typically 24-hour events where people get together to collaborate on a variety of projects – projects that aren’t restricted to programming.

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Smart Layers & AMBER Alerts Coming Together in Next Week’s Hackathon

During next Thursday’s hackathon, a group of AddThis developers will drop what they’re doing to work on integrating ValueClick’s emergency warning system into AddThis Smart Layers. They’ll focus first on creating AMBER Alerts that will dynamically display on tablets, smartphones, and computers in areas where abductions take place.

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October Hackathon 2012: Robotics for the Remote Worker and Plenty of Plants

Another successful AddThis Hackathon is in the books! We measure the success of a Hackathon in a few different ways:

For those not familiar with hackathons, they are our 24-hour sprints of innovation. A-Teamers group up, or work alone, on a new project outside of what they are currently working on in their day-to-day. The energy surrounding a hackathon is always fun and familial. They are a very important part of the AddThis culture.

WINNER: Telepresence Roomba Robot

The winning project of this installment of all-night coding was quite impressive. The team went out to solve a common challenge we face at AddThis. Since we have multiple offices across the country, sometimes communicating and collaborating requires extra effort. So, the team created a telepresence robot using a Roomba, a MacBook Air, foamcore and a rocket launcher. And the entire thing was controlled from a Google Hangout! See it in action:

Congratulations to the winning team! It was well deserved.

Honorable Mention: AddThis Garden

The unofficial “runners-up” also deserve Earth Day Award 2012. “AddThis Plant” went on a mission to “green” our new HQ office in Virginia. It is an extensive project of plant growing, caring and loving with the end goal to have a nice array of beautiful oxygen-producing decorations for our work space. Check them out:

And those are just the official winners! There were many other brilliant and noteworthy projects that did not go unnoticed or under-appreciated. Some of which will be used to make everyday AddThis processes more efficient — a win all by itself!

Like this? Check out more posts about AddThis Engineering.

 

Pride, Glory and Scotch: A Wrap-Up of Hackathon Summer 2012

Innovation, collaboration … sleep deprivation. Put all those together and you know that AddThis Hackathon Summer 2012 was a great success!

Over a dozen amazing presentations were given this morning from individuals and teams, showing off some of the most impressive projects to date! Fun new products, feature overhauls and internal tools for improved efficiency – our talented crew covered all the bases.

While the grand prize — a fancy bottle of scotch, some gift certificates, and bragging rights until the next hackathon — could only go to one project, every participant is a winner in teamwork, creativity and dedication.

We’ll be sharing more information about the various projects as we roll some of them out in the coming months but to give you an idea, topics and tools ranged from new Pinterest solutions for publishers to usage of gestural and voice control technology. It was an impressive array of presentations and they made one thing very clear: the A-Team is proving that the future is now!

Here is a look back at the past 24 hours. Now excuse us while we go catch some Zzz’s!

The winners with their most important prize.
Shhh! Sleepy hackers! …
Cats hacking?! Only at AddThis.
Hungry, hungry hackers enjoying our early morning omelete bar!

If this looks like fun to you, check out our careers page. We’re hiring hackers and other great minds to join the party!