TgtMAKEs Great Technology

Have you ever been in a Target store, on Target.com or shopping from your Target mobile application and thought about how you can be a part of the cool ‘nerds’ that made that technology happen?  Target is a great place to work, but how many of you realize the great opportunities for information technology inclined talent to drive our guest experiences?  One of our exciting Target Technology Services  concepts is TgtMAKE which is a research and discovery incubator sponsored by our Solution Architecture team.  The goal of this group is to provide team members a path to experiment, research, innovate, and make things that have the potential to impact the bottom line.

Earlier this month TTS hosted its 2nd annual “TgtMAKE Day”, where 120 of our brightest and best “Hacks” from Target Minneapolis & Target India spent the day having fun, showing off their brains and fostering innovative ideas to evolve Target’s technology. It was Target’s very own “hackathon”. The goal was simple: come with an idea, create a prototype and present it to your peers/leaders.  The creativity started even before the event with the cool team names that showed up including “The Loonies”, “Just Showing Off”, “Puppet Masters” and “Team NOSQL”.  So you are probably wondering, “what if I don’t have a team?” That was easy as we had a free agency area where you could just show up,make friends and ideate together.   As you can imagine there were laptops, iPads, Android devices, iPhones, etc. all over the place.  Some of the technologies used to develop their ideas were Tomcat, Java, JQuery Mobile, API, SAP, MongoDB, Jersey, HTML, Linux, etc. *disclaimer- I have no idea what some of these are, I just wanted to sound hip :)*.  Throughout the day and during final presentations, you could see the level of engagement and appreciation as several of our IT Executives dropped in to see what was going on and provide support for their team members.

Having worked in both engineering and IT shops earlier in my career it was exciting to see so many extremely smart Target Technology  engineers, architects, business analysts, project managers, process analysts and business partners locked in rooms together expressing their ingenuity.  I have met some really sharp people during my time at Target and I must say the room was almost like the NFL Pro Bowl of Target IT people, minus anybody running a sub 5 second 40yd dash,  tackling a 250lb running back or throwing a football 60yds (It is SuperBowl time, I couldn’t make it through this without an NFL reference…Go Ravens & Niners)…….. Even though my background is technical, I do not think my Basic, Fortran, Assembly Language and C+ skills would have been welcomed amongst this crowd.  Not to mention, making my name flash/scroll down the screen or popping values off the stack to create a slot machine would not really increase Target’s position in the world of retail technology.  *Going home to sit in the basement and reminisce on my Commodore 64 & Motorola 68000 processor.*

I know some of you may be wondering, “What were the ideas that came out of TgtMAKE?” Of course I am not going to tell you, but feel free to go to Target Careers to find your ideal role in Target Technology Services.  If you join the team, I promise to meet with you the first week and tell you about those ‘great ideas’. 🙂

 

Interested in a career in information technology at Target? Search and apply for jobs here.

  • Nicholas Selby

    January 31st, 2013

    I think that this is a great way to bring the team together and make a difference for our guest. What I have always wanted as a GSTL is the ability to check someone out or start a transaction while the guest is in line with my PDA. I think that would make for some great VIBE moments.

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