Everyone at Grofers Tech loves Hackathons because this is one day when we forget all the worries of the world and jump right into solving problems.
Be it an old idea solved using a new tech or a new idea solved with just an excel prototype, this is a day when we wear our hacker hats and let creativity be our guide.
Most importantly, it’s a chance to bring ideas and solutions into the spotlight and showcase them to everyone across Grofers and gather quick feedback.
Hackday has been an integral part of our culture, since its inception in 2018. Over the years, it has become a tradition so much so that even the pandemic couldn’t stop us and we had to convene an emergency meeting of the Holy Grofers Hackday Society(no we don’t call ourselves that :p).
Thus, the idea of the first Grofers Virtual Hackday was formed. Believe it or not, it still remains one of the most exhilarating things we did outside of work during the pandemic.
But engagement in the virtual world is a critical challenge as it is really difficult to coordinate things and ensure engagement. This is where Discord came to our rescue. We used it for facilitating the discussions on and before the hackday. We created voice/video channels for teams, a game room to jump into during breaks and a music channel to jam together while hacking. Thank you Discord.
All this effort and wohooo we had a whopping 27 teams registered with 40+ ideas proposed all across product, design, data and engineering. In the end, we had 13 teams that were able to build an MVP to present to our Judges.
There was no theme for the hackday but it was super cool to see some common themes emerging during the presentations.
- Some ideas focused on solving day to day operational challenges like building tools for warehouse manpower utilization, introducing new business lines and leveraging geospatial data.
- There was another set of ideas floating around how can one leverage technology for problems of scale for eg. event streaming, integrating WhatsApp assistants for consumer interactions.
- Given it was pandemic time, it was no surprise that most participants built MVPs and tools around the theme of Employee Engagement. There were prototypes of slack bots which can give virtual hi-fives to people, a game zone where people can engage during tea breaks and even an in-house OKR Management tool.
Kudos to our winners Ashish Gambhir and his team and runner ups Abhishek MR, Ayush and their team for bringing life to their ideas.
Interestingly, we wrapped up presentations for Hackday 2021 recently. So, stay tuned coz we will be back soon with another post around our latest hacks. In the meantime, if you want to join this hacker gang at Grofers, you can apply here or feel free to reach out to me directly on Linkedin.