Bugcrowd Blog

Learnings from Bugcrowd's 1st Hackathon!

Posted by Payton O'Neal on Feb 22, 2017 4:30:37 PM

Today we wrapped up our first company-wide Hackathon and I felt it worthy of a short blog while the judges deliberate over who had the best project… It’s not about winning anyways, right?

All-in-all I was amazed by the outstanding participation (33%–not bad for our first time), with lots of folks working on multiple projects–21 projects in all. Beforehand, a few people explicitly said their goal was to make as many ‘small impacts’ on different projects as possible. That they did.

What was most exciting, however, was the variety in projects. From a slackbot-connected, voice-enabled mannequin to business-critical projects, it was great seeing the diversity amongst my colleagues. Although the final projects were clever and solved interesting problems, what was more insightful to me was the fact that they gave me a glimpse into my colleagues' different ways of thinking. Here are a few takeaways from the final presentations...

  1. Bugcrowd employees are EXTREMELY visual learning oriented. Besides the aforementioned voice-enabled project, a huge portion of our projects had strong visual components. If I had to guesstimate, one out of three projects (mine included) solved a problem by displaying data visually. I’m not sure what that means for Bugcrowd, but look out for what’s to come!
  2. Security permeates through and through. We always say ‘we practice what we preach,’ but to see Bugcrowd employees–without external incentive or real-world pressures–address security considerations upfront, was great to see. We don’t all have security backgrounds nor are we all security engineers, but it’s safe to say we’re all ‘security people.'
  3. API. If you didn’t know, we recently released our bi-directional Bugcrowd API. We’ve gotten great feedback on it from the community, and we’re excited to see what our customers do with it. Lot’s of our projects this go-around gave us a jump start on that exploration and development.

BONUS: Slackbots for everything.

So, what’s next? We’re planning on holding these Hackathons quarterly, which to be honest, sounds exhausting. Exciting… but creativity is exhausting.

At the end of the day, this was an excellent opportunity for us to work with folks we don’t get to work with regularly and spend some time solving interesting problems in interesting ways. I look forward to seeing this grow beyond our technical teams to see what other inventive ideas we have brewing across the company.

As always, remember to "build it like you own it."

Payton O'Neal

Written by Payton O'Neal