15 Sep 2020
Our hackathons: solving the intractable…!
In September, Tractable kicked off a new cross-company initiative: the Hackathon!
A total of 23 participants were divided into four teams, each comprising members from Product, Research and Engineering, and set a goal: deliver innovative products that would make a difference to the company… in just two days…
What is a Tractable Hackathon?
Our hackathons are events where the company gets together to build new product ideas in a sprint.
In effect, the company’s normal development work stops, and our staff is given the licence to build and present their most innovative ideas.
At the deadline, the products are presented to the judging board – the company’s C-suite, and VPs of research, product and engineering.
The winners are rewarded – both with actual prizes (including t-shirts, home hubs and dinner vouchers) and also, potentially, seeing their ideas become real products that make a concrete difference to the company.
Hackathons – why?
Hackathons help teams grow and bind together to achieve short-term objectives, as well as promote the acquisition of new knowledge. They encourage the development of a strong engineering culture, which in turn helps attract and retain the top talent needed to build a cutting-edge AI.
Hackathons are also instrumental in driving Proof of concepts (PoCs) for testing of products and product ideas or building internal tools and utilities, as they allow ideas to travel from paper to MVP in just a couple of days.
They also allow employees free rein to work on the ideas they are passionate about – and, of course, they’re also great fun!
So… what did we build?
Our teams created a wide variety of products that could have a big impact on the future of Tractable’s roadmap, including:
- A solution for any claims that get ‘stuck’ in the Tractable AI, that automatically retries internal failures requests across different services
- A new damage-assessment visualisation, using 3D car models to improve the user experience
- A way for the AI to identifying the angle that every photo of a car was taken at, plus a new UI to showcase it
- A quick interface to turn features in the app on or off, enabling us to tailor the product more easily for clients
Here’s a simple video of the AI angle identifier in action!
And what did our team think? Here’s some feedback:
“Give our engineers a creative space, with some time, and we can build anything!”
“Loved getting to work with new people and learning something new :)”
Our next Hackathon will be in December – watch this space for more details and to find out what intractable problems we’re solving next!