#TeamNoSleep: Inside the Cox Hackathon
The annual Cox Hackathon pulls individuals from across the divisions to band together for two days of transformational, innovative ideas.
“Clear your calendar for the next 48 hours and get plenty of rest,” were common rituals practiced by hackathon participants in preparation for the competition.
Each year Cox Enterprises hosts an employee hackathon, challenging the brightest minds across the Cox divisions to innovate, collaborate and use technology to create brilliant ideas.
With 18 teams and over 120 employees ready to participate, the Cox Hackathon — held in Atlanta, GA — was the ultimate showdown. Several employee participants were flown in to ideate for three days and enjoy peer-to-peer networking, brainstorming and team building.
After the winners were announced by the judges, we caught up with Interstate 1337 — the winning team members Kym Huang, Senior UI Engineer, Cullen Bass, Senior Platform Engineer and Darren Hollenbeck, Senior Software Engineer — to learn how they were living their glory days. Hear from team captain Corey Andalora, Lead Software Engineer, in his interview below.
1. Let’s relive the moment your team was announced as winners, what came to mind? As the award-winning teams were announced, the anticipation just built exponentially. When we were announced as the overall winner, it was a combination of extreme excitement with a sense of relief. The grind involved in doing a hackathon was infectious. The high pressure, the short timeline, and the innovation — not one moment of it we took for granted.
2. Since the aftermath of the Hackathon, tell us what the “glory days” have been like for the team? As we returned to the office, we were met with a wave of congratulations. Many of our team members wanted to hear more and encouraged us to take our ideas a step further. Kym presented to her teams on the Kelley Blue Book campus in Irvine, CA. Corey is a two-time champion of Cox Hackathons, touting both his championship belts from the previous year.
3. While the team was flattered by the congratulatory praises, the recognition also created some moments of impassioned pressure for the team. How? Before the event, we already wanted to tackle something innovative, particularly around computer vision for our Cox Automotive division. The Hackathon theme was “Frictionless,” and we discussed some of the challenges surrounding obtaining data in the automotive industry, particularly car shopper visits online and on-site. Once we had the idea, we split up and attacked different parts of the software. It was a team effort.
4. How did the team celebrate? Sleep! Mostly on the plane back to their respective cities, the four team members caught up on much-needed rest and were each awarded prize money for their winning ideas.
The Cox Hackathon is an inspiring time for employees to explore new technologies, spark innovation and generate new product ideas. If you want to be a part of a dynamic company with amazing people supporting amazing brands, visit our careers site and join us today.