About every six months, our developers—or DevMonkeys—of all shapes and sizes swing from the SurveyMonkey jungle for a 26-hour, no-holds-barred, Hackathon.
The Hackathons are a way for engineers to create interesting projects, stretch their skills, work with people from other teams within the company and of course—compete to win.
This Hackathon, we had 20+ projects submitted. Some were built to be used internally while others focused on research projects utilizing new techniques and technologies.
Last but definitely not least, other Hackathon projects were developed as potential new product features and enhancements for our customers.
Here are our Hackathon highlights. Code (read) away!
Team City<dot>: Winner of the Peer-Voting Award
This team created an advanced theming editor for customizing the look of your surveys. Want to change the look of your checkboxes of radio buttons? Want a background image for your survey or make it look like a postcard? Team City<dot> built a great proof-of-concept editor in very little time.
Team SM.ART: Winner of Best Internal Tool
Team SM.ART built an interesting visualization that created a tree ring-like view of surveys that showed timing of responses coming into the system. Like tree rings, you can see the whole history of the survey and when most responses came into the system. Unlike tree rings, no trees were harmed in the process.
Team Nate Silver: Winner of Best New Feature
Team Nate Silver was composed of members of our Survey Research team as well as Software Engineers. They built an advanced feature in our Analyze tool that weighted results depending on the demographics of people taking the survey. For instance, say you know that the population of your survey takers are 50-50 gender balanced, but in your survey results females are over-represented? Turn on the weighting feature and see how your results could appear if the survey was taken by an equal amount of males and females.
This group built a survey-taking page that was integrated in a 2D side-scrolling game, Robotron style. To open gates and avoid getting attacked by monsters, a user would need to answer survey questions. Note: it should’ve gotten the award for most frustrating but crazy-addicting hack.
These hackathoners built a website that would give users an endless stream of questions to answer as a mobile optimized site. The website allowed you to contribute questions, gave points for asking and answering questions and allowed you to compare answers with other users. Entertaining stuff and all for a good cause.
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The Chewbaccawallas created a great mobile-optimized website similar to our native IOS app. Fans of our surveys-on-the-go app get to experience the same native experience without having to install the app.
Team 3 Little Survey Designers
Ever wonder how good you are at creating surveys? This team built a survey scoring system that lets survey designers see what they’re doing right or wrong from a methodological point of view. The best surveys get a 5-star rating and the worst 0-stars. For example, add too many answer options for a multiple-choice question? Lose a star. Use one of our curated Question Bank questions created by our Survey Research team? Earn a star, and so forth.
Team OCD Respondent
Have you ever taken a SurveyMonkey survey and forgotten how you answered the questions? Team OCD Respondent built a feature that would email you with the answers and allow you to correct your answers later if you made a mistake. Great for those of you out there who have to check that the oven is off three times before leaving the house.
This team built a feature in our online form-builder product, Wufoo, to allow users to sell tickets to their events. Have a school fundraiser event? Then Wuf-wents is for you. You can create a form for the event specifying a maximum number of tickets, tie it to a payment service, and badda-bing badda-boom, you have your fundraiser website ready for business.
Like peanut butter and chocolate, Wufoo and SurveyMonkey taste great separately. Are you thinking what Team Coffee is for Closers is thinking? Mix them together as a way to sign up for surveys in Wufoo and have those signups appear in your contact list in SurveyMonkey. Delicious and zero calories, yum.
Team Emperor Tamarins
Sometimes a SurveyMonkey chart needs a little extra explanation. “Amazing” and “heart pumping” might describe a car or the latest song from Taylor Swift, but isn’t really a great caption for a SurveyMonkey chart in Analyze. Why not have SurveyMonkey automatically create captions for your surveys? Things like “All but 3 users said they live in California” or “No one likes paying taxes” is just a few of the captions that will be created, using the survey question and response data to create a one sentence caption.
Team Naval Gazing
Are you a part of SurveyMonkey Contribute, taking surveys to make money for charity? Ever wonder how your answers compare to others and what makes you a unique flower in the meadow of SurveyMonkey Contribute users? Team Naval Gazing takes your profile questions and compares your answers to the rest of our contribute panel.
Team Case Closed
Our Customer Operations team built this great self-service tool that made it easier for users to get answers to their questions. When you send an email to our support team, it will try to auto-categorize your question and provide a list of help articles while you are waiting for an answer.
And that’s our Hackathon 2015 in a nutshell, data fans. Questions, comments on any of our projects? Let us know in the Comments section below!
If you happen to be a Software Engineer, DBA, or TechOps ninja looking for a great place to work, please check out our jobs page here.