One Team, One Stream: Disney Streaming unites for its biggest Hackathon yet

Disney Streaming Blog
Nov 18 · 5 min read

This fall, Disney Streaming held its first Hackathon as a unified team. For the second year in a row, the event was completely virtual: over 260 employees participated across seven time zones and produced more than fifty projects!

As you can probably guess, an event of this scale took some serious organizing from folks across the company (and the world). Thanks to our awesome team, everything went down without a hitch.

Now let’s get into the details…

Theme & Judging Criteria

This was Disney Streaming’s first Hackathon as a unified organization, and the theme of this year’s event was “One Dream, One Stream, One Stream,” a celebration of the shared goals, stories and people that make Disney Streaming great.

In this spirit, judging was broken down into distinct categories that gave all types of Hackathon projects a fair shot. It didn’t matter whether you were tech-, product-, or design-focused (or all three!) — everyone was welcome to submit! Categories included Business Impact, Technical Execution, Corporate Citizenship, Viewer Delight, Fan Favorite (where the audience — and a select group of executives — got to vote for their favorites), and “One Team, One Stream” (a category intended to reward projects that exemplified this year’s theme).

And the winners are….

Note that all projects are purely Hackathon ideas, and may or may not hit production in the future!

Hey ROSTR, Say My Name

The team behind this project proposes an enhanced internal tool that encourages a more inclusive work culture. The feature empowers Disney employees to record and upload correct pronunciations of their names for coworkers to listen to and learn.

Be Our Guest (A Hackathon Project)

The team behind Be Our Guest puts forward the solution to a common problem. What if you want to share — and discuss — a Disney+ show with friends? What if you can’t because they don’t yet have subscriptions? In this project, viewers have the ability to share one-time codes with their friends that provide guest access to selected content.

Cross Bundle Search

The Disney Streaming Bundle provides subscribers with a tremendous variety of content — which is awesome — but some viewers might find themselves searching in all three apps to locate something specific. This project aims to solve that by providing a single search across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.

“Coming Soon” Calendar

Want to know when new episodes of your favorite shows are going to drop? Want to check out all the new content coming to the service? This project proposes a calendar view in Disney+ that shows what’s coming soon.

Disney+ Connect

Our content is more enjoyable when shared with friends, family, and social networks. This project aims to bring viewers’ activity feeds straight into the app, allowing them to see what friends and family are watching and then dive right in!

D Referral

Here at Disney Streaming, we actively encourage our colleagues to refer talent from their network. This project would simplify referrals with a refined internal tool that tracks and manages the whole process.

eTogether

For employees at a big, dynamic company like Disney Streaming, organizing team events and activities can be tough — and so can finding information about upcoming internal events. The team behind eTogether addressed this by creating a centralized platform to share ideas, gather people, and plan activities.

Bullpen

The Marvel universe has a long, complex history, spanning 82 years, dozens of movies and TV shows, and over 8,000 characters.

Named for Stan Lee’s news and information page in monthly Marvel Comic books , Project Bullpen would provide on-screen character insights at scale through ML-powered image recognition.The proposed feature is reminiscent of Marvel’s footnotes, which referred back to previous storylines and characters and gave fans hints about what to read next.

Control Disney+ from your Phone!

Cell phones are constants in our lives. This Interactive Disney+ remote control would enable viewers to control Disney+ content playback from their phones!

Edna’s Makeover

Have you ever wondered what classic Disney movies would look like if they had a different visual style? The team behind this project experimented with Neural Style Transfer. Just for fun, they used this technology to transform existing content using different visual styles.

Little Mermaid, Candy, Mosaic, Marvel (Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Left, Lower Right)

Thumbs Up 👍

The 👍 project would provide viewers with more customized recommendations based upon their “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” ratings..

Assemble Slack App

“Assemble” seeks to simplify Disney Streaming’s internal work landscape. This project would make it easier for employees to connect with individuals and understand their work across Disney Streaming.

  • /assemble would help co-workers find and collaborate with key stakeholders from different projects/define would bring clarity to acronyms and jargon (an everyday hazard for those who work in tech and media) and help users locate key contacts on specific teams

Join us!!

If you’d like to be part of our next Hackathon, you can find out about our open roles here. We’re always looking for talented people to join our teams! Get in touch if you’re interested!

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- A Disney Technology Blog