Cosmo Tech organized its first internal Hackathon at the beginning of September.
Fresh from the summer holidays, Cosmo Tech’s Technology Operations Manager, Jean-Baptiste Briaud, headed the two-day Hackathon at the Cosmo Tech headquarters in Lyon. This two-day event comprised of eight members of IT, DevOps, Solution and Product Developers and Marketing coming together to discuss a common technical improvement among client-proposed solutions – all while reducing costs. Hackathons are events in which teammates collaborate intensively on a solution to a problem in a very pragmatic manner, breaking habits and usual sprint organization. As Cosmo Tech’s first Hackathon, Briaud was unsure of what to expect, but eager to see what this talented group would come up with.
Day One consisted of a brainstorming session, where the participants identified the technical issue that they were going to tackle. The challenge was finding a balance between difficulty and value in terms of cost. Then, after having selected “the problem”, the Hackathon team brainstormed on possible solutions. After proposing several cost-saving ideas, the team settled on one that would be the most beneficial both internally and externally.
Briaud was pleasantly surprised with the efficiency of the team. “I didn’t expect to have something as concrete in such a small amount of time,” he said. “It was really impressive. It took half a day to choose a problematic, and just one day and a half to come up with a solution.” A key factor for their success was the flexibility of the members and the collaborative effort of everyone involved, including when the team needed a last-minute GUI developer and he accepted the challenge without hesitation.
Briaud agrees that the Hackathon was a success, but there are things that he would change for the next one. For instance, while every participant brought valuable skills to the table, the next Hackathon could be more volunteer-based instead of Briaud choosing the members. “The manager doesn’t know everything; there are people who know better than me and can bring a different point of view to the problems and their solutions than I could. It can’t be done by yourself, you need other people to help you find solutions to problems.”
While the solution has not been implemented yet, this Hackathon provided a solid proof of concept and concrete code that has been written out by the team and is ready to go. The next steps are for the Sales and Product teams to determine the best way to approach clients with this pain point and solution. Briaud is confident that the solution provided is a win-win situation for clients and also provides added value on top of Cosmo Tech’s existing applications.