Hackathons have become legendary at Leaseweb throughout the years. They offer a space that empowers employees to work on projects they care about most in a fun and collaborative environment. The ideas produced during hackathons range from technical to functional – and never fail to impress. This quarter’s hackathon was no exception.
The Hackathon Formula
While hackathons typically have more technical roots, the events at Leaseweb have grown to include almost every department in the company. Employees with all kinds of expertise are encouraged to participate and collaborate to come up with innovative new projects.
The hackathon occurs three to four times a year and lasts for 48 hours. Every hackathon begins with a kick-off, where participants briefly share their thoughts and project ideas. Participants then make use of all the office facilities for as long as they want during the event.
Beers and Brainstorming
In the next 48 hours, overnight stays in the office are encouraged as employees race against the clock to make their ideas a reality. During the late hours, food and beers are kept on hand to help keep the creativity flowing. This quarter a barbecue was organized, and family members were invited to attend. After 48 hours, the bleary-eyed participants proudly presented what they worked on during the hackathon.
“There are no rules at the Leaseweb hackathon, except that you have to let your creativity shine” – Leaseweb 20 Years
From Technical to Functional
Leaseweb hackathons are integral to the company culture. They provide a space outside of our busy schedules to work on initiatives to help improve the company. This translates into a wide range of ideas and projects. Some are technical – like optimizing installation times on our servers and building inspirational Proofs-of-concept. Some ideas are functional – such as restructuring the Leaseweb jobs portal or simply giving a thorough scrub to the department fish tank. Moreover, others aim to improve everyday life in the office, like this quarter’s hackathon winner that successfully spiced up the daily office lunch with a refurbished server rack filled with fresh herbs.
Time to Decompress
During each hackathon, an additional event is organized to encourage cooperation between the different teams. Over the years, there have been many noteworthy activities, including playing customized laser tag in the Leaseweb office, competing in glow in the dark mini golf in Amsterdam, and setting up a chain reaction sequence with marbles, basketballs, and remote-control toy cars (to name a few).
Earning the Trophy
Teams present their work at the end of the hackathon, and then a final vote is held to decide which was the best project. Then, winning team gets to proudly display a big shiny trophy on their desk – at least until the next hackathon rolls around.
Do these kinds of projects appeal to you? We are always on the lookout for new colleagues – and who knows, maybe you will be taking home the hackathon trophy next.