As the Director of HR, it’s essential for me to keep track of and help manage the overall morale in the office. One of the main ways I try to prevent our team from burnout at work is to plan time to have fun together and decompress. Our team breakfasts and monthly happy hours are perfect examples.
Another way to prevent burnout is the chance to explore their ideas and creativity in an environment outside of work. We decided that a Hackathon was a fun way to create that ultimate environment where our dev team and members of other departments can collaborate on something that didn’t have the same pressures as their daily duties.
The challenge: Develop a new app in seven hours. Participants divided themselves into two teams and then the requirements of the app challenge were decided on. Each team chose the kind of app they’d develop, how to allocate task, and which technologies to use. Once mind maps were finalized, then the event began!
Birch Grove Brackets
Team One was made up of Andrew Shaw, Ali Asadpoor, and Tyler Winn. Their plan was to develop an app to use with the dartboard in our game room. The idea behind Birch Grove Brackets was to identify the area in which darts hit on the dartboard and then keep up with scores in the app. The team thought the plan would be a practical application for future darts tournaments in the office.
Team One used backend technologies like ASP.NET and MS-SQL, and frontend technologies like Angular JS. They incorporated a webcam to capture the dart position.
Here’s how it works:
The application analyzes an image from the webcam to identify the dart’s location. A web interface on the backend connects with a database. The .NET technology transmits and saves the user interaction occurring on the angular website in a database. The UX shows who’s playing and the status of the games, including scores on the scoreboard.
Nathaniel Armer, Leo Montes, and Kristine Pantoja made up Team Two. They developed an exciting and experimental feature for ActivTrak called ActivAR.
Here’s how it works:
This application uses Facial Recognition to identify a person and then show their productivity data from ActivTrak along with other fun information. Then, the computer displays this information using Augmented Reality.
Nathaniel said, “Hackathon is all about nifty, cool, visual and fun applications. When we were discussing in the design meet, we had lots of ideas out of which we chose to do something with an AR concept. I enjoyed the event, and I look forward to other such events at ActivTrak.”
At the end of the allotted time, the teams presented their respective projects explaining how the applications worked and how they came on to the idea of developing this in the first place.
Our team’s significant others joined us during the presentation. This event served as a great chance to see our team have fun in their element. Later, the team and their families gathered to celebrate the occasion. An evening of pizza, drinks, and hanging out wrapped up this excellent experience for ActivTrak.
The Benefits of Collaboration and Creativity Outside Office Hours
I firmly believe that conducting events like this will help prevent burnout at work by bringing out the creativity of the team. This kind of activity also serves as an opportunity for members of all department to contribute and bond at a level different from the everyday work environment.
How about we give a little twist to Hackathon and host it for our customers in the future? This will bring a whole range of ideas from a client’s point of view on the development of a new product or a feature for our existing product. Let us know what you think in the comments!