There’s something about Sportsbet staff and competitions. As soon as you set a challenge, game faces go on, the war paint comes out and things get serious. This could be why there is such a sense of thrill around Hack Days. They show the seriously impressive quality of our staff, with cross functional teams collaborating to deliver innovative ideas in less than 16 hours. Every Hack Day teams raises the bar and 2017 was no different…
Inspired by the cult classic movie trilogy “Back to the Future”, Sportsbet Hack Day set the task of thinking in the future about ideas that would be game changers come 2018.
In total, there were over 55 ideas generated from across the business. After voting, rigorous testing and putting pen to paper for lean canvases, 8 ideas came through that were identified as having the potential to add huge value to Sportsbet. The idea owners gave a two-minute pitch to share their ideas and get others who were passionate about it to get on board to help bring them to life. The pitches had absolutely everything, from cardboard cutout prototypes to a robot delivering one owner’s pitch for him.
Over 85 people joined teams and then proceeded to drink 450 cups of coffee to help fuel what was an exhilarating two days of hacking. The event was an awesome development opportunity to step outside their normal work and get fully immersed in everything product delivery, from idea inception to marketing the ideas. Hackers were in great company with Google sending across some of their best tech heads to work with the teams and teach them a thing or two about innovation. Our analytics team set up a live odds feed dashboard that was streamed to every floor across the building and markets were set up for what teams could get their ideas over the line.
Many passionate teams stayed hacking through the night, their energy levels sustained by the 12kg of lollies that were devoured. Due to this sugar overload, we needed a way to let our hackers let off steam in a contained environment. What a better way to do this than in a Virtual World… Sportsbet showed that they have skills outside of hacking, with countless amounts of zombies and aliens slayed.
Day two you could see some dark eyes around the room as a testament to the troopers who stayed through the night. Rumors were rife it was just an act to psych out the competition that they had poured hours into their ideas when really, they just hung around to help build their skills in preparation for an unlikely Zombie Apocalypse. Teams were strangely calm in the face of finishing off coding their prototypes and preparing for a five-minute presentation to the business. Some teams even had enough time to pull together what could easily be mistaken for a Hollywood film that tugged at the judging panels heart strings. There were three awards that the teams were vying for; The People’s Choice, Tomorrow’s Choice and The Bosses Choice.
The two-day event was an inspirational reminder of how committed Sportsbet Staff are at constantly adapting the way that they work to help deliver bigger smiles for punters. People from all around the business come together to collaborate on innovative solutions to continue to delight our customers well into the future and maintain our momentum as leaders in the market.