A couple of weeks ago we had our bi-annual Ship-It Day, which consisted of 31 hours of non-stop team collaboration, brainstorming, coding, beers, coding, ping-pong, coding, pizza, coding, and finally, the shipping of lots of cool ideas & features!
For those of you not familiar with the concept of “Ship-It” day, it can best be described as a hackathon, in which teams forego “regular work” in order to explore and work on a variety of “special projects”. These projects range from automating manual tasks to trying out new growth hacks, culminating in something tangible that is presented to the whole company at the end of the day. More often than not, Ship-It day projects start leading lives of their own afterwards, as the proof-of-concepts are developed further into full-blown features and products. Importantly, these projects don’t require permission or rubber stamps - if you’ve got a cool idea, then get a team together and go for it!
This year's edition kicked off with a “healthy” breakfast, supplied by our CTO, German:
After a nutritious start to the day, everyone got busy! Coffee in hand, the teams huddled around whiteboards, got comfortable in bean bags, confiscated meeting rooms and got to work. In this edition, we had a total of 8 projects as diverse as setting up an email widget to send price alerts to customers, refactoring our API requests to be more efficient and developing algorithms that improve the way we sort hotels on our website.
With the theme of the day being to “ship something awesome”, the majority of the time was spent doing just that. Naturally, there were much deserved intermezzos of ping-pong, some beers, and a healthy, wholesome, nutritionally responsible dinner of… pizza and Thai food! The various “recharge ” sessions were necessary, as some members of the team continued on until the early hours - taking only a short break for some rest - before going right back at it the next morning.
Time flies when you’re shipping awesome stuff, and before we knew it, the clock struck 4PM - presentation time! We all gathered around as the various teams presented what they’d spent the better part of the last 31 hours on. Many of the presentations included live demos, ranging from sending the entire company an email with a great deal in it, to presenting the merits of a new ranking algorithm, to showcasing the new customer support system, to highlighting the cost savings already materialised with some efficient refactoring. All in all, the presentations gave the entire team a good overview of the work that had been done, and many of the projects already had follow up steps defined regarding their entrance into production.
To give you a sneak peek as to what the day was about, we’ve prepared a short video. Curious to find out more? Think you have what it takes to dazzle us at our next ShipIt Day? Find out more about how to join the crew here: careers.findhotel.net