Internal events are an important part of how Target is growing it’s engineering culture and gives folks an opportunity to learn and do things in new and different ways.
An example would be the CODEred Hack event held on June 28 where 160+ engineers from across Target converged on Target Plaza Commons to spend 6 hours bringing an idea to (hopefully) life.
28 teams worked on team identified projects that included everything from chatbots to a project that produced computer generated artwork with a Target flair to contributing a fix for a Camel Kafka open issue.
Wait. Some projects involved helping the open source community? YEP! Target strongly believes in giving back to the communities of which it is a member…including the larger technology community.
So what was it like at the hack? Imagine a celebration of all that is code where you are free to celebrate your inner nerd/geek/coder. Now multiply that by 10 with plenty of snacks, pizza and caffeine to keep you coding. Toss in a summer day glorious enough to have the Commons’ jumbo garage door open (see picture) onto the massive lawn complete with games for the occasional break. It was that good.
The day wrapped with 90-second demos of work done between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., with attendees voting for winners in one of five categories:
• Make.IT.Happen – we need to make this real NOW
• #almostawesomesauce – keep iterating, keep going
• Thinking Outside the Box – using a tool or capability in a new or unexpected way
• Most Spectacular Fail – great idea but failed to realize on this day
• Coders Choice – think People’s Choice Awards … but for Coders
Members from our summer intern program team won “Coders Choice” for creating a chatbot to help folks new in town get familiar with Minneapolis (including fun things to do).
At the end of the day, as one of the event organizers I can honestly say the following quotes from attendees made all the work worthwhile:
• “I loved seeing the swirl of technical activity! All coming together to create something new/innovative/or extremely needed. It is a very cool business high.”
• “It was cool to spend a day focused on an objective and work with my peers on something interesting (and fun).”
Next event on the agenda? Target’s first joint event converging our internal Product, Lean, Agile and DevOps communities (we’re calling it Mid by Midwest). Look for an update here in August.
TIP: Want to know what’s happening when it happens? Follow @CodewithTarget and #DOTGT on Twitter or Instagram. Interested in learning more about tech at Target? Check out codewithtarget.com