Hackathon - when too much of a good thing is wonderful

The 27th of April was not like an average Saturday for our team. It was the day of the first-ever Qubiz Hackathon. Colleagues from both offices formed teams determined to lay out software solutions for real-life problems. I sat down with Gabi Lupas, the mastermind and chief organizer of the event, to talk about the hackathon. Also, some of the participants shared their memories about the hackathon. Let’s see what they had to say.

Why did Qubiz organize a hackathon for the team?

Considering our culture and track record, organizing a hackathon seed to be the most natural thing to do. One one hand, stimulating innovation and proactively proposing solutions to our customers is part of the company’s DNA. We look at ourselves as a partner who determines its clients to go further. In our 10 year history on numerous occasions, innovative solutions and ideas came directly from our colleagues. Other times different team members’ ideas turned into viable software solutions. That’s how we started QLabs, our R&D department, which is currently working on turning these ideas into products. On the other hand, our team values meaningful interactions and fun. We have sharp colleagues who enjoy sharing their ideas, are open to learning new information, discovering new things and developing new products. The Qubiz Hackathon proved to be the perfect opportunity to live out these aspects of our culture.

How was this hackathon different from other coding events?

I don’t think it was very different from other hackathons. However, it had the intimacy that a public event can’t secure. The teams were defined in advance based on friendship and common interest on technology, not by pitching on a project. I think this aspect had a major contribution to the event’s success.

Why did you choose to have donation cheques as the prize for the winning teams?

Over its 10 years of existence, Qubiz proved many times that we care about our community. We can spare the prizes, but other people, who are less fortunate, needed them very much. I’m just happy that the money went in the right place. Also, not competing for prizes stimulate teamwork and cultivates a healthy competition.

Did future product ideas come out of the event?

I’m proud of the teams’ productivity, especially considering that this was a single-day event. From my point of view, one of the main achievement of the hackathon was that innovative, viable ideas came out of it. I’m confident that some of them will turn into software products.

When should we expect the next Qubiz hackathon? Will future Qubiz hackathons be open to outsiders?

Our colleagues’ expectation is to have hackathons on a continuous basis. We’ll do our best to meet their expectations. 😊 It’s safe to say that we’ll organize at least one hackathon each year. Probably in future editions, we will accept team members outside from Qubiz.

Some of the most memorable moments of the Hackathon:

Cosmin (PM): For me, the most memorable moment was when the jury withdrew to analyze and grade the teams’ performance. You could feel that all participants were driven by the desire to create something important, something to be proud of. Regardless of the final results, we all went home with great memories this united us in an indisputable way.

Lorena ( developer):

Gabi G. (business development):

Cami (developer):

Norbi (UI designer):

Mihai (developer):

Andrei (developer):

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