Hoodhacks 5 at Robinhood
Robinhood recently hosted the fifth iteration of HoodHacks — our annual company-wide hackathon. Over the course of four days, dozens of teams from a variety of departments began working on new internal tools, potential new product features, and more. By the end, we saw more than 50 different project demos. It was amazing to see so much creativity, talent, and cross-department collaboration from all our Robinhoodies, and we hope to ship many of the projects developed during this event!
History of HoodHacks
HoodHacks has evolved over the years, with the first event taking place in 2016, when Robinhood had less than 40 employees in one office, and featured a small handful of innovative projects such as a portfolio auto-rebalancer and a Robinhood / smart speaker integration.
One distinctive characteristic of HoodHacks from the beginning has been its inclusion of every employee at the company, regardless of department or location. And so, while most company hackathons take place during the work week, HoodHacks takes place over the part of the week and the weekend so employees in critical brokerage functions have time outside of market hours to work on hackathon projects if they wish.
Our efforts to build a truly company-wide event have been successful. Rather than just flashy feature demos or developer tools, HoodHacks projects are inspired by the diverse perspectives of the entire organization. This year, for example, we saw projects to optimize the workflow of customer support agents and consolidate our compliance policies into a central hub, along with the usual feature demos. And cross-team projects give a valuable opportunity for Robinhoodies to talk to employees from other departments and learn about the business as a whole. As an engineer myself, I’ve learned so much from my colleagues in the customer experience department during past HoodHacks. The collaboration and teamwork we see across departments is so unique and exciting that I believe more companies should consider full-company hackathons.
A virtual success!
This year was the first time that HoodHacks was remote, and we did our best to preserve the energy and excitement that we would see an in-person hackathon. We had video conferences for our opening ceremony and our project presentations in place of in-person meetings and a project expo. Virtual trivia, bingo, and yoga events were peppered throughout the course of the event to provide fun breaks from the work, and we even distributed gift cards so participants could order snacks or food while they hacked. While all this could never equal the excitement of hacking together in our offices, we’re happy to say that we had solid participation and positive feedback from our hackers for this year’s virtual event.
Fifty-six amazing teams tackled many topics, from customer experience projects to social impact initiatives to product improvements to internal tools 🙌 Out of all these amazing submissions — we had 5 winning teams! Planning for HoodHacks 6 will soon begin, and it will be bigger and better than ever. If you are interested in joining the team, check out our open positions — we can’t wait to hear from you.
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