2 weeks to Iterate

I am really excited to announce that team CHRL-E was a hit. We landed in the top 5 projects at Hackathon and as a prize, we get two weeks to finish the project! We actually had a fully functional project by end of Hackathon so we are going to be focusing on making it super easy for people to release code to CHRL-E and then work with as many people as we can and help them implement something they are interested in to encourage product adoption. I think if anyone spends an hour writing a script, they will see how easy and fun it is to add functionality to CHRL-E. Today we setup some permanent channels on our our Openfire server where CHRL-E will hang out. We also added SVN monitoring to all of our repositories so that all SVN commits are logged to the engineering channel. We also worked a bit on integrating with another team’s project, a cool Extreme Feedback device that has different colored lights to correspond to company revenue goals, a red revolving alarm light tied to our outage alert system, and a lava lamp that indicates when our mailings are going out. CHRL-E will be able to toggle all the lights on demand. We also started to connect CHRL-E to our Pingdom site monitoring so that we can share Site Uptime and Response Time stats easily with the company.

Hacking Company Culture with Hubot

This weekend, several of my coworkers and I set out on a mission to hack our company’s culture.  If you don’t already know, my company Next Jump has a very unique culture that is tuned around a simple concept.  Better Me + Better You = Better Us.  Much like Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, where you must meet physiological needs before you care about higher level needs like safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization, this concept believes that a stable foundation must be built before you can succeed at the higher tiers of personal growth.  The company believes that to reach success, we must start by investing in our people and making them better (Better Me).  After doing this, our people will invest in each other and pay forward this debt by helping grow those around them (Better You).  When our people are growing personally and helping others, everyone begins to grow and succeed (Better Us).  One way Next Jump practices this is through our annual Hackathon.  Employees are encouraged to form teams with others that they do not normally work with and then choose a project of their own fruition to challenge themselves to make a product that pushes an edge to the extreme within 41 hours.  That is from 8pm Thursday night until 1pm Saturday.  This year the winners of the challenge will get two weeks to work on their projects full time to complete their vision.

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