Hackers Gonna Hack at 50onRed’s Hackathon

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It’s amazing to see what innovative, creative projects transpire among coworkers with only 24 hours to put them together.

After a torrential dusting of snow forcibly postponed our initial attempt at an internal hackathon late January, eager groups of hackers from every corner of the office teamed up on February 2nd-3rd to bring their ideas to life.

The event was open to all 50onRed employees, not just the programmers, and encouraged teams to put their heads together, utilize their unique skills, and come up with great products. In total, 14 groups hacked away from noon till noon to conceptualize, code, and compete for the grand prize: cold, hard cash.

Our CEO, CTO, and VP of Operations served on the panel of judges, rating projects based on 5 criteria: monetization potential, feasibility/ease of implementation and scale, originality, virality, and coolness factor.

Hackers were advised to create projects with one of three angles: monetization, mobile, or simply “something ridiculously cool”. What emerged, however, were 14 “ridiculously cool” products ranging from a Tinder-like swipe-shopping app, to an SMS-alert system for advertisers to manage campaigns on-the-go, to software that efficiently QA tests user interfaces, to a secure file backup solution that syncs across multiple cloud storage services.

Everyone gathered around the projector as each team presented their project. After careful deliberation, the judges announced the winners.

The grand prize went to Importr, a tool that simplifies CSV import functionality by circumventing formatting compatibility issues. The masterminds behind Importr–VP of Product, Frank Fumarola and Software Engineers, Matt Schmoyer and Scot Lawrie–basked in all their glory as they collected their cash prize.

“Of the 10 or so hackathons I’ve been a part of, 50onRed’s internal hackathon was by far the best. The projects really exceeded my expectations.” – Craig Slusher, 50onRed’s VP of Engineering

The projects that arose from 50onRed’s hackathon displayed the level of talent, passion, and creativity our team holds, and only further helped to inspire new ideas for innovation. In fact, the company is working with four teams to move forward with their projects, and we’re all excited to see how they pan out. And, because it’d just be stupid not to, we’ll be holding an internal hackathon every quarter.

Check out highlights from the hackathon in our photo gallery below.