APEX Annual Company Retreat
In June, Adage Technologies wrapped another successful APEX annual retreat. Following the Hackathon format we used last year our employees were tasked with flexing their technical and creative muscles for 24 hours to create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that had to be demoed to the entire company at the end. Employees submitted ideas for 18 projects, every single one was related to our work but beyond the scope of our current responsibilities. Here’s a look at a handful of this year’s ideas: an AI Chatbot for shopping cart recommendations, a STEM Career Day for YMCA students, a Front End Component Library built with Fractal, a Progressive Web App for displaying current season information, and a Content Organizer to make content population faster and easier.
In addition to the variety of projects we created, our employees have a variety of reasons why the Hackathon has become such a fun tradition at Adage. APEX has taken various forms over its 5 iterations, but we’ve continued to host it year after year because taking a day away from normal responsibilities to learn and connect with each other helps our employees refresh and stay engaged. Doing a Hackathon allows for opportunities to innovate and work on something new and exciting.
Why Adage Employees Enjoy APEX
But don’t just take our word for it. Please read on to learn why our employees enjoy participating in Adage’s Hackathon.
“There’s so much flexibility with our Hackathon, particularly in the beginning when we’re picking our project. Each employee has the opportunity to select any project they want to work on – whether they’re an expert in the subject or starting from zero with no previous knowledge. We have autonomy in deciding the project we want to be a part of, which makes for a fun day of exploring new technologies and solving unique challenges.” – Jorge Luna, Front End Developer
“Having the space to experiment with new and emerging technologies, that we don’t normally use on a day-to-day basis, has been my favorite aspect of APEX. It’s great to work with a team where failing and trying again is encouraged, accepted and entertained because APEX isn’t about being perfect. The focus is on exploring new technologies together in an open-minded environment that’s both collaborative and relaxed. In some cases, we’ve even taken our experimentations and implemented them into our client work and it all happened thanks to our Hackathon.” – Damian Gadek, Lead Developer
“I loved having the chance to work directly with leadership. As a designer at Adage, I’m interacting across many different scrum teams but my work doesn’t normally cross paths with our senior leaders. Being able to collaborate and build relationships with our leadership team while also learning from them throughout the Hackathon is the reason it is such a meaningful event for me.” – Ruizhi Liu, Lead UX Designer
“As an APEX participant for the past three years, I continue to be in awe of how many smart and passionate people work at Adage. It’s been a pleasure to learn what my co-workers are interested in, and to watch them share their passions with the whole organization at the end of the Hackathon. I’ve formed stronger bonds with my co-workers, and it’s fun to have a deeper understanding of what they enjoy.” – Logan Dick, Product Owner
What Our CEO Thinks
Our CEO, Roy Chomko, has been through all our APEX events but says what’s been so inspiring to him about the Hackathon format is, “the way our employees approach their projects with such enthusiasm and dedication alongside teammates they might not work with regularly.” Since teams are self-forming and self-governing, they determine how the project is completed. This year, Roy discovered, “one team even started by asking everyone what role they wanted to play in the project versus simply doing what they always do – such as developers developing, designers designing.” In the end, a true representation of the collaboration and openness that employees engage in, and enjoy, during Adage’s annual Hackathon.
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