We recently hosted our annual Sonar Hackathon, which allows our developers to compete and turn their ideas into experiments, explore new features, and solve problems.

Besides improving Sonar’s product and providing smoother customer experiences, internal hackathons are beneficial for short-term collaborations as they spur innovation and foster teamwork. 

The Sonar Hackathon is a fun team-building exercise where the development team is given an opportunity to work on something a little different than what they normally would. It’s a 2-day event where the team can choose to work on anything they want to. Some choose a fun feature or change they’d like to see in the software. Others choose to look at something that supports how they do their job.  It might be something they wish we’d find time to work on, but we never have the time to get to it.  It could also be completely unrelated to work at all to get the creative mind flowing. 

The primary focus of our Hackathon is for our team to expand their horizon on what they choose to work on. We really focus on recharging creatively and giving the developers an opportunity to work on something they might have been itching to do for a while. The sky is their limit, and there are no limits or restrictions.

The main objective is to recharge in terms of creativity and passion for daily activities.  Maybe remind us of what we find fun in our work.  Sometimes we get caught up in deadlines and bug fixes, and it’s good to step outside that focus for a day or two.  At the end of the Hackathon, though, the team is given an opportunity to “show off” what they worked on. It’s fun to see what everyone has come up with.

Our team always looks forward to seeing the results of the annual Hackathons. Some projects from the Hackathon may eventually become part of Sonar or may not. For example, our 1st Hackathon was incorporated into the new Start Page User Preference Page. As with any team building event, the most successful outcome is that the team is able to work more effectively and efficiently together. Anything else is a bonus!

We look forward to this event each year and enjoy watching creativity sprout. We measure success by simply receiving feedback from the team. We look for ways to make the event more effective and enjoyable for our team and program.