hack presentation 900
July 06, 2018

Adaptavist Hack Day 2018

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Lucy Worsley and Rhianna Said 4 minute read

At Adaptavist, we support the professional growth of our youth by offering work experience placements to bright students with an interest in tech. Lucy and Rhianna joined the team for a week in July to find out more about what it is really like to work for a technology company in London.

During the week they were involved in our annual Hack Days and spent time getting to know people from all parts of the business. This is their week- including the Hack Days- from their perspective.

What could be more fun than breaking out of your day job for 48 hours and taking part in a company wide hackathon? Nothing springs to mind obviously. Over the hours around 10 teams across the globe took part coding and making demos, getting ready to present their ideas at the end of the 2 days. At the end of it every team had turned their idea to help make their lives easier or a customer request into a working, presentable product.

Spending a week with the team at Adaptavist

For this week we (Lucy and Rhianna) have been doing our work experience here, at Adaptavist, learning and understanding what it’s like to work in a tech company and just getting a feel for what the working world is like. Everyone here has been welcoming and we’ve been able to talk to at least one person from each area of the business.

It has been interesting to find out what everyone does and how many different jobs there is in a tech company, let alone in other companies. It has been especially interesting seeing how the company ran during the hack day. People were out of their usual jobs and learning new things, just as we have been. We’ve talked to a lot of people about work, university and other options after school. This week has been really helpful in showing us what it’s like in the world of work and has helped us more than anything school has ever told us.

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Why a hack day?

Now you may think you’re doing a Hack Day just for the sake of doing a Hack Day and as something fun to do every once in a while but it’s more than that. Hack Days are a chance to do something a bit different, to be able to work on an idea you may have put on the back burner. You end up working with people you wouldn't usually work with and taking on roles (or letting go of) that you otherwise wouldn't do on a normal working day.

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Hack Days allow creative and free thinking, trying to find solutions for certain problem. You gain a sense of community, knowing that every team taking part in the hack day is just as passionate about their idea as you and your team are about yours. There's also something satisfying and rewarding about seeing your idea develop and move through the stages, developing and becoming more than just a concept.

Hack Day at Adaptavist (How we hack at Adaptavist)

The Hack Day ran for two (intense) days of pitching, designing, developing and presenting. Ideas were suggested and sifted down to the ones most likely to be successful and people chose the team they would like to be part of. The largest team, which consisted of 8, had to split up into smaller groups, distributing the tasks to ensure quick progress was made. All skills were used during the race to create the most useful product, old and new. Some dabbled in coding and others took a step down from being in charge. Those that worked in smaller teams, said they felt “a sense of ownership” and that what they were doing was valued. One even said “it can be very rewarding if your product gets taken forward, occasionally it could be what you end up working on or the next two years”.

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At the end of the two days, each team had to pitch their ideas and sell it to their audience, explaining what they have designed and showing a prototype/demo version. This could be a challenge and shows the true strength of skills in your team. It was important to have a team member that was engaging and confident, the winning team most definitely had that. Their product had the catchy name of “Plug-ins for the people”.

Overall, it was inspiring to see people working on ideas that they are so passionate about and to see the excitement as nobody knows what their pitch could lead to. We (Lucy and Rhianna) feel lucky to have experienced the culture here at Adaptavist, it is clear to us why everyone is happy in their job as they have opportunities like the Hack Day.