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HackWeek @XING

Ever wish to be an inventor? If you’re at XING, you can!

At XING, we want to give employees the freedom to develop ideas without any limitations and explore new territories and technologies. That’s why we established a quarterly Hackweek where developers, product managers and UX lay down their daily work for five days in order to put their skills up for creative projects.

Hackweek at XING takes places across departments and locations – everybody of the tech teams can develop an idea and coordinate with others that might want to join the project.

Some of the results of former Hackweeks are related to existing products, others are only used internally and some are just thought to tinker with. Previous Hackweeks have created XING Projects, two-factor authentication and Get-a-room: a helpful internal room-booking system.

Hardware fun is also present at Hackweek, XING Arcade was built in a former round, it’s an old school arcade cabinet with arcade controls powered by a Raspberry Pi 2 with classic console/arcade games.

Classic Arcade cabinet fitted with controls and Rasperry Pi 2

Sky is the limit, our hackers who were already into FPV Drones were able to design and print their own drone frame using our 3D Printer and fit motors, controllers, batteries and even a camera into it, they were able to fly it afterwards.

Drone controllers, motors, battery and camera fitted inside 3D printed frame

A couple of weeks in advance, everybody can announce his idea at an internal online tool to find colleagues who like to join the project.

Hackweek starts with a kick-off session on Monday morning. Attendees can enjoy breakfast and meet some colleagues while getting familiar with the agenda for the week. At project trade fair project initiators can present themselves and „recruit“ colleagues who haven’t decided which project they’d like to participate in. Once teams have got together they can find some space and start development; with the help of snacks and drinks which are available through out the week.

After a week full of coding, exploring and learning together, Friday is the „Big Day“ to come together and watch the project presentations in a relaxed atmosphere with drinks, food and good music. All different locations are connected via video conference. Each team has five minutes to pitch their project and results and share their experiences. What did we learn during the week? What went well? What didn’t work out? Once the pitch session is done, it’s time to lean back, grab a beer and share some ideas and learnings with the colleagues.

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