Our plans for a hackathon in the US Virgin Islands were mostly met with the following reactions:
- You’re kidding, right? Can I get a job there? (Yes you can!)
- Are you working hard or hardly working?
Now that we are here we’ve fallen into a pretty great balance of the two extremes. Going into the hackathon we defined our teams, our overall goals, and created somewhat of a schedule for our work. Now that we’re here some of these have changed to allow more support for bigger projects, goals that align with our editorial vision but also our technological curiosity, and a schedule that feels natural and unforced.
We’ve split our 14 product members into the growth and click-through-rate teams. We also have commerce and innovation teams, but they’re going to focus on fleshing out our next big moves in social commerce rather than focusing on building a product during this week. Our growth team is redesigning some of our core products: responsive mobile site, slideshow design and implementation, and homepage design. The CRT team is divided into two tracks: one developing a fashion week hub, and another flexible image tagging for showcasing products within article elements. Our goals are to expand user discoverability, grow the tool kit our editors can utilize, and enhance the performance of our applications.
As for our schedule, it’s pretty much anything goes until 1pm when we all come together to program and design. Meetings happen by the pool deck, some program on the kitchen island, others on couches, and all day yesterday the CTR team took over an entire living room, covered the walls with paper and wire-framed the fashion week hub. It’s great not only having unlimited space to work and design, but also unlimited access to our best resources—each other. We work well into the night, then relax with some light swimming or nighttime beach romping. And, of course, plenty of rum. Come on, we’re in the Caribbean!