At Kudos we have a motto: be curious, be considerate, be innovative. So, it was in this spirit that the product team met up for an intensive but fun and collaborative session – the inaugural Kudos hack day – our first official hack day but definitely not our last.
For those of you new to the idea, a hack day (also known sometimes as a hackathon or hackfest) is a free, collaborative session in which a team get together and work on various development projects without any expectations of delivering shippable code. It is meant as an exploratory and fun session where you come together and explore the potential of a product, a tool or a technique.
At Kudos, we have a mountain of fantastic data collected from our users explaining and sharing their publications. We’re always looking at ways to distil this data and provide actionable insight at all levels. With this in mind, the theme for the day was simple. How can we visualise our data?
We all pinned ideas up on the board and shared them with the team. In groups, we started to work through these problems and play with various open-source tools and visualisation programs, seeing what we could hack together over the next five hours. Time was precious, coffee was copious and the biscuits didn’t last long at all.
After a long day, we presented what we had discovered and discussed how we could implement some of these features into fully functioning, reliable and tested code. This will come eventually, but it is important with any hack day that you don’t work with an agenda or any constraints on what you have to deliver by the end of the day. We worked through problems and out of dead-ends, whilst being rewarded with some fascinating insight.
It was great to hear the occasional audible gasp as we saw some of the Kudos data visualised for the first time, and feel the ripple of excitement spread through the team as we thought ahead to the potential of some of these tools for our users. It’s too early to give too much away, but some of the images will hint towards some fascinating outcomes. What is clear, is that it’s going to be a really exciting 2016 for Kudos!
Have a fantastic holiday and remember… stay curious, considerate and innovative!
– The Kudos product team –