At the end of June, we held our first company-wide hackathon: a week for Grafanistas to unlock their creativity and think outside the box (but often within a panel).
“We have an incredibly talented team here at Grafana Labs, and so many of our most valuable features (not to mention entire projects) have come from grassroots innovation rather than top-down planning,” our CEO, Raj Dutt, said during the kickoff. “I really want to accelerate and amplify that as we scale.”
During the hackathon, Grafanistas from all over the org joined forces to invent, build, and solve challenging technical problems related to our products, community, and business. Normal schedules and deliverables were pushed back a week, so that participants could focus on their hackathon projects.
A total of 125 people participated — more than a quarter of the company at the time. Many of the 49 teams were boldly cross-functional, combining sales with engineering and IT, product marketing with solutions engineering, UX with R&D.
We were thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response to the hackathon, not just from participants, but also from the entire staff, who watched presentations from the five finalist teams during an all-hands meeting and voted for the overall winner. (A panel of judges also gave out some awards in different categories.)
So over the next few weeks, we’ll showcase on the blog the cool projects the teams built, and equally importantly, the behind-the-scenes fun they had, often working with folks they hadn’t collaborated with before. The best part of the hackathon was “seeing so much get done in so little time,” says Senior Software Engineer Yas Ekinci, “and meeting Grafanistas across the globe.”