What do you get when you put the Lookout team in a room for 24 hours straight with coffee, computers and a whole lot of innovation? That’s right, it’s a Lookout Hackathon.
What’s a Hackathon you ask? A Hackathon is a day-long hacking marathon in which the Lookout team uses all their resources to create something out of nothing, and challenge the boundaries of what we can do with computer code. Some of our greatest features, like Signal Flare, are the products of a Hackathon, and we owe our success to the ingenuity and talent of our team. This year, in the spirit of gathering with family around a big table, we celebrated our second annual Lookout Hacksgiving. A Hackathon + Thanksgiving = Hacksgiving. Happy Hacksgiving everyone!
At Lookout, anyone can hack. That’s why, a few weeks before a Hackathon, we rack our brains for ideas and pitch them to the group at our company-wide meeting. As people form their teams, Lookout employees lead workshops on how to build iPhone or Android apps, so that everyone from HR, to Marketing, to IT can be a Lookout hacker for a day. But your project doesn’t have to be limited to just a mobile app. People also innovate and improve upon our website and existing Lookout Mobile Security features in order to bring a better experience to users.
On Hackathon day, a gong sounds the beginning of the event and teams start coding and crunching. They have 24 hours to create their project, test it, and then present to the company. Some teams finish with time to spare, while others scramble to the finish line. This year we had nearly 60 Lookout employees hacking, producing a whopping 25 new projects.
While some Lookout hackers turn in for the night, the majority spend the night at the Lookout office, occasionally napping on couches, the floor, and in the conference rooms – anywhere they can find a few minutes of rest. Everyone has their own tactics for making it through the night. Some gulp down coffee and energy drinks, others play games and juggle, and there have even been rumors of spontaneous dance parties in the middle of the night to keep morales high.
All in all, its an amazing event where each team, though exhausted, pushes the limits of what’s possible and presents an awesome product that’s built in a day. Winners this year included a team of engineers and a team of marketers who were awarded with customized Lookout “Hack Holidays” sweatshirts. We celebrated the end of the Hackathon with a big Thanksgiving meal. And now, it’s time for a well-deserved nap.