Improving our Craft with ShipIt days at Spartez

The end of last week was all about ShipIt days at Spartez. The air was thick with creativity, fun and pizza. We had 80 participants, 30 projects, 10+ craft submissions, 2 equal-second placers, and 1 clear crowd favourite.

What is ShipIt?

ShipIt is a tri-annual 24 hour hackathon. Originating from and being run globally at Atlassian, it has become an integral part of the Spartez culture. It brings the Spartez team together a few times per year for 24 hours to work with whomever they want, on whatever they want. After 24 hours, everybody shares what they worked on with the rest of the company.

What is the goal of ShipIt?

In short, ShipIt is held to foster creativity. It’s a perfect time for scratching itches and fixing things that bug people about products, processes, as well as improving simple everyday company life. ShipIt is great for spikes and testing the benefit that radical ideas could provide. Equally important, it’s also about having fun. It’s one of the things that make Spartez a great place to work.

How does ShipIt work?

The rules tend to be tweaked a little between editions, but overall ShipIt projects can be anything so long as they are in some way related to products or processes and capable of producing something demo-able in the allotted time. Everyone can participate, regardless of their role, tenure, experience or domain. Once the 24-hour crafting time is up, a series of company wide presentations are held. Each team shows off the results of their project to the other teams and fellow contestants vote on their favourite idea. The winner of the popular vote gets a prize and the ShipIt trophy.

ShipIt 46: hackathon with a focus on craft

The focus of this (46th!) ShipIt was “craft”. Craft is defined as a pastime or a profession that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. But it’s more than that. Craft is what’s needed to build something beautiful, lust-worthy and desirable. At Spartez, we build, deliver, market, support and operate products and services for millions of customers to make their work simpler, more transparent and predictable. Craft is everything to do with HOW we do the above.

In this spirit, over 80 participants worked for 24 hours on 30 projects and delivered more than 10 craft submissions. Their projects were judged against how they addressed the focus area (in any interpretation of “craft”), whether they can be actually used or implemented and how innovative they were.

And the Winner is...

The first place by popular vote went to “Improving Roombelt”, a project focused on upgrading our room reservation tablet app. It was awesome, ready to be shipped and is already being used across Spartez.

Alongside the main competition, recognition was also given to projects in three special categories. The “OKR prize” went to the team working on “Improving Jira Server accessibility”. The “Craft prize” was handed to “SyntaxError”, an initiative focusing on auto-detect translation syntax errors. The “Unplugged prize” to the “Friendly Gdańsk/Spartez Hub” project, aimed at delivering an online compendium for colleagues relocating to Gdańsk to start their career at Spartez.

While winning is fun, the real winners of this ShipIt will be the customers who will benefit from the innovations our team are shipping to them as a result of this hackathon.

Why not organise your own in your company? Or better yet, join Spartez and participate in our next ShipIt as part of our team?