2020 Exabeam Hackathon: disco craze takes over

Disco Craze Hits Exabeam: Hackathon Days

March 12, 2020

Lonnie Kelco

They say that disco never dies. Well, here at Exabeam that was the case in January when our employees danced the days away to some truly groovy ideas.

January saw the first of two rad all-hands Hackathons planned for the year. Nearly 15 percent of our company—including participants from engineering, customer success, sales, community and other teams—spent two days building and creating fantastic features to help enhance our product.

The theme?

Security Night Fever.

Free clothes? Check.

The food? Free.

The goal? Have fun.

The outcome? Winners, prizes, bragging rights and lasting funky product contributions.

To set the stage: 65+ employees from all around the company walk in to find the place decked out with disco balls and banners, along with plenty of food and good vibes. They crowd into teams, 17+ teams in all to discuss how they would boogie over the next 48 hours. As they begin their planning, I walk around and see team names like The Eventurers, Hax0r, Edamame, and the Slackers. They were all scheming on the most out-of-sight way to improve the product—and show off their stellar skills.

As the wintry California day warmed, the teams grew more and more stoked about what they were conceptualizing. I went around chatting with some of the teams after a healthy lunch of pizza and wings. A quick scan of the area confirmed for me that there was not a single team that would not keep on truckin’ through the day and make progress on their off-the-hook projects.

After a light dinner of Mexican food, the teams started to turn in for the evening.

The next day they came in ready to boogie on for another day of fun, delicious hummus and schnitzel and lively discussions.

As a final task for the event, they each provided short summaries of their projects, so we could vote and determine which team was the most out-of-sight.

We came back from President’s Day ready to show off all the totally rad projects to the company.

Some quick stats on the presentations:

  • 17 teams
  • 8 individuals
  • >85 Exabeamers listening to presentations at a time
  • 116 voters
  • 6 countries represented by the US, Ukraine, Australia, Ireland, the UK, and Canada
  • All teams were cross-functional, spanning departments

But there could only be two winners.

The Eventurers and Team Easy Installer owned the day, walking away with this nifty lava lamp.

The Eventurers’ project helps significantly enhance monitoring, a feature that will be in a release shortly.

Drive-by Compromise Technique
Winning team Eventurers members Kati Hatch, Robert Blankenship and Jake Wormhoudt.

Team Easy Installer wrote upgrades for our installer that will be released later in the year also.

Drive-by Compromise Technique
Alex Hunt of Team Easy Installer.

The awards ceremony brought our Hackathon to a close. Thankfully, I get to see these groovy cats every day. Even more important, this is the last time I’ll speak in totally rad disco.

Catch ya on the flip side.

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