The Winners of Hackweek

With free rein to experiment, JW Player engineers create innovative solutions to overcome unique challenges

The results are in! Last month, our engineers experimented with new ideas and projects over a five-day Hackweek competition. With the goal to “provide an outlet to ideate, innovate, and create cool stuff in a self-organized way,” Hackweek encouraged novel approaches to problem solving—regardless of how directly they were tied to current JW Player products. Our product and engineering staff, including the top 3 winning teams, certainly didn’t disappoint.

 

In the spirit of cross-team collaboration, Hackweek brought together talent from various departments, giving everyone a full week to complete their projects during regular business hours.

In total, we saw:

  • 79 ideas submitted
  • 19 ideas worked on
  • 17 ideas presented
  • 14 different teams

Participants were judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality/novelty
  • Technical difficulty
  • Competitiveness
  • Presentation

Many projects scored highly for their “disruptive” potential, while others were recognized for their applicability to JW Player challenges and workflows. As one organizer put it, Hackweek featured a compelling dynamic between projects that were “candy” (possibly changing future product roadmaps and revenue streams) and those that were “medicine” (addressing pressing organizational needs).

 

At the end of the competition, three projects made it to the top:

  • UNO: Up Next Optimization
    A solution for surfacing recommended videos before viewer drop-off, based on data-driven predictions
    By: Evol Greaves, Doug Shore, Alex Halter, Graham Edge

 

  • Page Analyzer
    A tool that uses AI to help publishers improve their video titles, descriptions, and captions
    By: Kamil Sindi

 

  • SIGINT – Signals Intelligence Report
    A method for reducing overhead and facilitating cross-team collaboration via automated visualizations of complex ticket dependency graphs
    By: Greg Twohig, George Ponick

 

Each winner will receive up to $250 to go towards a group activity, an engraved trophy, and, of course, eternal glory.

As SVP of Technology, John Luther, shared, “Hackweeks are important cultural events. They are one of the things that define JW Player’s engineering ‘personality’ and make us unique.”

When it comes to staying true to our culture of innovation, Hackweeks are a hallmark of JW Player. Here’s to the next one in December 2018!

 

To learn more about the innovative video solutions of JW Player, schedule time to speak with a video expert.
 

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