Hacking for innovation

18 January 2017
Michal Chudy
Frink_Cognifide_2016_HeaderImages_0117

Innovation is the life-blood of Cognifide and our Hackathons are hugely important events that free us to think outside of the box and to come up with fresh solutions that we might not consider on a daily basis. Our most recent Hackathon was held in December in our Engineering Centre in Poznan. To promote creativity, we don't restrict participation to our development team. We believe that anyone can have a good idea, so we open it up to all. So the event included members of our HR team, and business-focused teams as well as developers. 

This variety resulted in ideas that were not only focused on innovative solutions to our customers' needs, but also new approaches to daily internal challenges that will improve the way we work. Anything that helps us work smarter is always welcome! And we don't just look at software development. Among the solutions presented, we had hardware (IoT) and marketing ideas.

The one thing that all the resulting ideas had in common – groundbreaking innovation!

hackathon

Innovation

Participants worked around some of the biggest current trends in IT. For instance, one of the teams used machine learning algorithms to improve the user experience for authors. The solution predicts, from a selection of predetermined styles, which are best suited to a particular piece of content and suggests them to the author.

innovation

Motivation

2016 was the first year in which we organised 2 Hackathons. We've realised the value of the investment because we've seen that great solutions can result. Let’s take Knot.X as an example. It’s a new tool that helps to shift the responsibility of integrations from crucial applications to micro services – and we are already using it successfully in a couple of commercial projects. It not only helps us to deliver complicated projects more effectively, but offers our clients great value, helping them to utilise licences more cost effectively for more sophisticated pieces of software and hosting services. Knot.X was the direct result of one of our Hackathons!

knotx

How it works

The Hackathon hosted over 50 participants, organised in 17 teams. Each team had 8 hours to implement a prototype of an idea and to present it as a short video clip. Presentations were then uploaded to a bespoke mobile app, created by us, of course, in AEM Mobile. This made the voting process a truly democratic, company-wide event.

AEM Mobile application

There were 3 categories:

  • Coolest @ Cognifide – the project had to be cool, simple as that
  • I want to use @ Cognifide – the project had to be feasible, useful and realistic to implement
  • Jury award

The Winners

Winners of Winter Hackathon

The audience award in both categories went to the NobleTime project. It is a tool that can help us to complete weekly timesheets in a more time-efficient way by automating the logging of activities from multiple services such as JIRA, Confluence and calendar.  The Jury award went to the wonderfully named Grumpy Young Men for a tool that supports the delivery of projects in a fresh "content-first" approach model. 

 Congratulations to all and long live innovation!