Liftoff Hackathon

What Could You Build in Two Days? Liftoff’s First Engineering Hackathon!

By Kate Morris | September 12, 2019

What could you build in two days? That’s the question we asked during our first-ever LIftoff Hackathon, when over 30 engineers, data scientists, and product managers came together to compete, have fun, and build something awesome! 

The event began Thursday morning, when 20 teams took over conference rooms and whiteboards to plan their projects. They worked hard throughout the day, fueled by coffee and tons of treats provided by our amazing People Ops team. It was truly a marathon event, with some even staying for midnight pizza, but all were back early on Friday morning to get their projects ready for the afternoon’s demo session. 

[acx_slideshow name=”2019 Liftoff Hackathon”]

From research papers to mobile games, there were too many fantastic presentations to list. To name just a few:

  • A mobile version of our internal dashboards
  • An A/B test “pick the creative that won” game
  • A Slack bot to help manage on-call shifts  
  • Not one, but TWO proprietary mobile apps!

The Hackathon wrapped up with an awards ceremony, complete with medals and trophies. Prizes were awarded in two categories: Best in Show, honoring the team with the highest quality finished project, and Most Ambitious Idea, honoring those who dared to dream big. The winners included:

Best in Show

  1. Caleb, DMac, & Mike – Online platform to help streamline our interviewing process
  2. Francois & Wojciech – Creative2Vec (image embeddings for creatives)
  3. Bo & Brian – 2019: A Liftoff Odyssey (mobile app for creative testing) 

Most Ambitious Idea

  1. Patrick – Implement bidding strategy for multiple KPI constraints
  2. Daniyar & Sergey – Investigate usability of ClickHouse database 
  3. Casey – Mechanical Turk Creative QA

Seeing the amount of thought, effort, and excitement that went into every project was remarkable. It was a reminder of not only the incredible talent we’ve gathered, but also of the diversity of interests and ideas Liftoffers have, and the strengths they combine to make those ideas happen.

Congrats again to our winners, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s Hackathon will bring!

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