Netflix Hack Day — Summer 2014

by Daniel Jacobson, Ruslan Meshenberg, Matt McCarthy, and Leslie Posada

Hack Day is a tradition at Netflix, as it is for many Silicon Valley companies. It is a great way to get away from everyday work and to provide a fun, experimental, collaborative and creative outlet for our product development and technical teams.

Similar to our Hack Day in February, we saw some really incredible ideas and implementations in our latest iteration last week. If something interesting and useful comes from Hack Day, that is great, but the real motivation is fun and collaboration. With that spirit in mind, we had over 150 people code from Thursday morning to Friday morning, yielding more than 50 “hacks.”

The teams produced hacks covering a wide array of areas, including development productivity, internal insights tools, quirky and fun mashups, and of course a breadth of product-related feature ideas. All hackers then presented and the audience of Netflix employees rated each hack on a 5-star scale to determine our seven category winners and a “People’s Choice Award.”

Below are some examples of some of the hacks to give you a taste of what we saw this time around. We should note that, while we think these hacks are very cool and fun, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day. We are surfacing them here publicly to share the spirit of the Netflix Hack Day.
And thanks to all of the hackers for putting together some incredible work in just 24 hours! If you are interested in being a part of our next Hack Day, let us know by checking out our jobs site!

Netflix Hue

Use Philips ‘smart’ lightbulbs to make your room’s ambient lighting match the titles that you are browsing and watching.

By Evan Browning, Bogdan Ciuca


Text and console-based Netflix UI.

By Sanjit Bhattacharjee


A 3D room version of our UI for the Oculus Rift, complete with gesture support.

By Ian McKay, Steve McGuire, Rachel Nordman, Kris Range, Alex Bustin, M. Frank Emanuel

Netflix Mini

Chrome extension that allows for multi-task watching in a mini screen.

By Adam Butterworth, Paul Anastasopoulos and Art Burov


Bringing actions that are currently only accessible via Display Pages into the Home & Browse UI.

By Ben Johnson, David Sutton

Circle of Life

Home page shows an alternate Netflix UI experience based on a network graph of titles.

By Sanjit Bhattacharjee

And here are some pictures taken during the event.

Originally published at on August 20, 2014.