This post is brought to you by Sendoso Content Marketing Manager Meira McFarquhar.
Earlier this year, Sendoso rang in 2021 with a bang: our very first hackathon!
The Sendoso hackathon was an internal company-wide competition that spanned three days and multiple time zones, with a goal of building community amongst our offices, learning from one another, and championing innovation. The event also created an amazing opportunity to showcase new ideas to take our Sending Platform to the next level.
All Sendoso employees were welcome to participate in teams, and each team was assigned an advisor to help with guidance and direction.
The rules were simple. Each team would be judged by a panel of five company leaders including Sendoso CEO Kris Rudeegraap and CTO Qaseem Shaikh, and were given the task of developing a project under the following criteria:
- Impact: Value the project could deliver to the company, customers, operations, or employees.
- Completion: Realistic project scope that demonstrates the proof of concept in the given allotted time.
- Relevance: Aligns with Sendoso’s growth plan, mission or values.
- Creativity: Outside the company’s roadmap, ambitious or innovative.
- Learning: How the team used the event to reach out of their comfort zone and learn new things.
And the prize for winning? A $250 eGift card per each winning team member, a full day off, and special limited edition swag! The second place team received an $100 eGift card, a half day off, and third place winners received a $50 eGift card, and some fun, special swag as well.
With their projects and the competition rules in mind, the teams went to work! Over the three challenging but amazing days, each team produced a working demo that demonstrated a proof of concept, and had to sell that concept to the judges answering the questions of why they chose a particular project, what they learned along the way, and what made their projects fun and exciting.
The results were incredible. Over 40+ innovative projects were submitted by almost 23 teams, with each project having the potential to get built into our product!
“The vibe was electric,” shares Sendoso Head of Recruiting Devin Collins. “Everything was incredible about it, and the fact that some of these features will go live and featured within our product is huge.The whole concept of going and working on something with no boundaries and guidelines, and then finding its way into production–that’s magic.”
While each team brought unique projects to the table, there was one team that pulled ahead and took the grand prize. That team consisted of Design System Lead Haleem ul Hassan, Senior Software Engineer Zain Butt, Mussa Irfan, and Senior Front-end Developer Usman Javed, who in their own words below speak about their experience participating in the first Sendoso Hackathon, working across multiple countries, and what excites them most about being a Sendoso engineer.
Meet Sendoso’s Hackathon Winners
What was your favorite part about participating in Sendoso’s first hackathon, and what types of tools or technologies did you enjoy working with most (i.e. machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, etc.)?
Haleem ul Hassan: We actually enjoyed the challenge of bringing an awesome idea to life, under strict deadline and pressure. This was because our main idea (Data Visualisation) was very interesting and exciting, and had huge potential to add value to our customers.
Zain Butt: Turns out it was my first hackathon, too, and it was exhilarating for me. Our project was related to visualizations so we decided to use d3.js first but quickly turned to another charting library that was easy to implement and did not have too much learning curve as we only had three days. Apart from the charting library Charts.js we used Vue.js as the front end framework for our single page application and Ruby on Rails as the backend framework.
Mussa Irfan: Most exciting thing was that It was something other than normal routine work and it was the first Sendoso hackathon too. Apart from that I worked on Vue.js and Charts.js library.
Usman Javed: We wanted to build a brand new customizable dashboard that we named as “The Dashboard,” where users can see the relevant data in the form of graphs and charts, and even customise the widgets as per interest and needs. We created it as a single page application using Vue.js and REST API pattern in Ruby on Rails. For drawing graphs and charts, we have leveraged Charts.js library.
What do you like about engineering at Sendoso, and can you describe the breadth of projects you work with day-to-day? Do you enjoy the engineering driven culture here? Do you feel like you have the ability to have an impact on our product roadmap?
Haleem ul Hassan: Since I am a designer, I can only talk about the design culture at Sendoso, which is very supportive and growth-oriented. We designers have an opportunity to take true ownership over our respective domains. My day-to-day tasks revolve around designing and growing our design system (Stella), making sure it’s implemented correctly across the board by working with product designers on their respective domains, as well as providing UI/UX feedback on all actively running projects.
Zain Butt: The engineering culture at Sendoso is very vibrant. The team that I am part of is kind of a backbone for Sendoso that handles the order fulfillment pipeline and has alot of integration throughout the codebase. So, alot of cross team communication happens. The best thing about engineering at Sendoso is that everyone is very open and always ready to help and hop on that Zoom call.
Mussa Irfan: The best thing is in engineering is that we have a technically sound team, plus you get to learn new things every next day and everyone is helpful.
Usman Javed: I’m part of the Sendoso PLG (Product-Led Growth) team and am working there as a front-end developer. This idea seems to have a lot of potential and hopefully will take the company to the next level. I enjoy working here and learning a lot of stuff every day which will definitely help me in achieving my career goals.
Building the Future of Sendoso
It’s safe to say Sendoso’s first hackathon was a huge feat (and all while being remote!). “This was a massive success because everyone was working from home and yet everyone had the energy and momentum to deliver a great outcome at the end,” explains CTO Qaseem Shaikh. “There were so many projects that were successfully completed that touched on a bunch of different things like our engineering autonomy, the ability to experiment and use new technologies, and work on fun, non-roadmap features.”
Plus, for our engineers, Sendoso remains an engineering-driven culture, where engineers can propose new technologies, work on projects that will help them grow, and contribute to our bottom line.
“Qaseem and the engineering leadership do a great job of putting people on projects that interest them, while putting them on things that will tangibly move the needle for the business,” says Devin. “That’s an engineer’s dream in my opinion.”
Congratulations again to our winners and all the participants in our first hackathon!
Interested in learning more about engineering at Sendoso? Check out our openings here.