If you want to improve in an area, you have to work on it. Same with a company. At Pointer, we value innovation. On the technology front, one of our favorite ways to strengthen the innovation muscles are hack weeks. What’s a hack week? In our eyes, it is a week where developers can work on whatever they want to work on. The idea is to dive fully into a new area or idea and drive it forward. From this, three things can happen: 1) developers refresh what it feels like to sprint into the headwinds of change, 2) ideas go from seed to sprout so that they may be transplanted to production in a future reality, and 3) confidence is gained in new skills and tools for use in future projects.
This month, January ’18, we had our second official hack week. For this hack week, we decided to add competition to the mix by having a panel of judges and prizes for the first, second, and third place. Comparing with the first hack week, the competition element gave added focus and energy.
In the January hack week, there were many projects and from these four themes emerged:
- Machine learning
- Mobile applications
- Image recognition
For each of these areas, developers went from zero to hero, starting from scratch and finishing the week demoing working examples.
Antonio won first prize by employing machine learning and showing, with actual data, how machine learning can be used to identify fakes with a high degree of accuracy in a very short amount of time.
Here is Antonio with his trophy.
Summary thoughts. Going into the hack weeks, there can be a perception that it is unproductive time, taking time away from the projects that directly benefit the business. But, at the end of the hack week (at least this one), the company was very enthusiastic about it because it made clear that Pointer has what it needs to innovate and win the battle against the fakes.
Curious about Pointer careers? If you feel that you can become a Digital Superhero like Antonio then visit our career page!