From ideation to product roadmap: Inside QuotaPath’s hackathon

women working at desk intently

In May, members of our product and engineering teams collaborated on 10-plus different projects over 2.5 days for an internal hackathon!

Was it a success? We’ll let our CTO and Co-Founder Eric Heydenberk weigh in.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of hackathons, but this was by far the best — our engineers are smart, creative and able to get scrappy in a way that exceeded my already-high expectations,” said Eric. 

Director of Product Andy Keil added, “This hackathon highlighted the technical chops across our teams. Almost half of the projects we worked on are likely to make it into production and several are already live.”

Read on to learn more about our hackathon, the winners, and what made it into production!

First, what is a hackathon?

A hackathon invites employees to work on products adjacently related to or outside of their regular work projects and roadmap priorities. 

For our most recent one, we solicited ideas from the entire QuotaPath team, including sales, marketing, and customer support before putting them in front of participants.

“Some of the best hackathon ideas would never make it onto the roadmap in official planning sessions,” said Andy. “But, the dedicated time to explore and prove out a concept can show what’s possible and why a particular feature is compelling in a short period of time.”

Once we closed submissions for project ideas, participants self-organized into teams and selected 11 projects to work on. 

And, despite a healthy dose of competition among participants (with prizes up for grabs), as the event unfolded, Andy said members from different hackathon teams hopped in to lend a helping hand or skillset.

“Our camaraderie and ‘one team’ mindset was on full display,” Andy said.  

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So, what were the hackathon projects?

For starters,  log in or sign up for a free QuotaPath account. Watch carefully.

Did you see it?

The little buddy you saw hopping about as your page loaded is the direct result of the hackathon!

Our Senior Product Designer Ryan Weaver and Lead Engineer James Truty teamed up to deliver and delight our users with an animated quokka. To learn about our connection to the quokka and our customer-nominated peer awards, visit our QuokkaPath page.

Another project that included our Co-Founder Cole Evetts, Lead Engineer Zoe Wolfe, Maeve Anand, David Cortinas, and Venu Kunche focused on in-app Team Contests. They built out the ability for teams within QuotaPath’s commissions software to set and run contests around deal sizes, quantity, and commissions.

The Geographic Analysis engineering duo of Kyle Cook and Kevin Denny developed a deal visualization tool pulling in key metrics of a deal. 

Meanwhile, a team of five appropriately named the Confetti Team, created in-app celebratory animations. And, of course, they added a customization element.

Other hackathon projects included: adding performance regression testing and in-app smoke tests, a sales job board, QuotaBot workflow improvements, a Slack integration, a command palette, a dark mode version of QuotaPath, calculated fields, and improved onboarding and bulk efforts within the app.

Obviously, the quokka has lived beyond the hackathon, but what else is in production?

“The final results from 2.5 days of work are going to make a material impact on the product and delight our users,” Andy said.

For example, the team has already shipped the QuotaBot development workflow improvements.

Also near completion? In-app onboarding upgrades thanks to the efforts of our Workspace Onboarding hackathon team. 

“The team worked on a ton of bulk action improvements that will make administering the workspace so much easier!” said Customer Success Manager Patty Williams. “My favorite that we’re already using is a bulk invite feature from the members modal. Inviting large groups to a workspace used to take 10-15 minutes, now it takes less than 30 seconds!”  

Plus, the Command Palette is well underway, and the design team has kicked off development on Team Contests. 

“Working on the Command Palette team was some of the most fun I’ve had programming in ages,” said Lead Engineer Mike Bagwell. “We built something that we’re all immensely proud of and that all of us are itching to get into the app so we can use our familiar shortcuts again. I’m still hitting command+K just out of muscle memory. Every team member contributed meaningful ideas and built quality code in a tight-knit communal process. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Who won?

After a companywide vote, the Team Contests group, led by Zoe, earned the coveted “Overall Winner” title along with the “Sales and Marketing Award.”

“Venu, Maeve and myself had so much fun working on this,” Zoe said. “We were in a Zoom call for all work hours during the hackathon. At one point, Venu Door-Dashed me a cotton candy milkshake. There was so much collaboration, iteration, and friendly jests.”

Other teams picked up some honors, too!

Command Palette earned the “Product & Engineering Award.” Workspace Onboarding won, you guessed it, the “CS & AM Award.” And, last but not least, our “CEO Award” went predictably to our Confetti Team. (Our CEO has a long-standing thing for confetti.) 

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When’s the next one?

Due to the success, we aim to host these a couple of times throughout the year.

“People across the company submitted almost 100 project ideas, proof that people from all parts of QuotaPath understand our product, and proof that we have so many exciting opportunities to improve QuotaPath in the months and years to come,” said Eric.

The participants would agree. Here’s what a few said during their hackathon retro.

“I learned that we can build stuff extremely quickly when we really want to. I would love to see how we can keep this scrappy mentality and utilize it for bigger feature development.”

“Something about the informality of prototyping was very freeing, ended up encouraging more teamwork and we got more done faster. Could carry over into actual project execution.”

“Tons of excellent cross-team collaboration. I was so proud of the project my team was able to see through in such a short period of time.”

“There was extremely thoughtful, ingenious, thorough work that came out of this hackathon. It felt like a breath of fresh air to work in such a quick, scrappy fashion with members across the entire org.  It was very cross-departmental and felt like a celebration!”

Interested to learn more about working at QuotaPath? Check out our career page to read about our values, life at QuotaPath, and see current openings.

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