The Importance Of Hackathons For The Coinbase Culture
Coinbase has recently published an article on its blog about hackathons and their importance. In the article, the company writes that “great engineers love building creative solutions to important problems” and that this is also important for Coinbase which is part of why the hackathons are so important for the culture.
With the rush of the normal routine of a day, it is easy to get too caught up and not have the time. The hackathons promoted by the company are a way, according to the blog post, to forge new friendships and try new skills or platforms that would not be used normally. This way, the developers can explore solutions that they would simply not be able to otherwise.
This way, the creativity of the community is fostered and there is more space for innovation and for the exploration of new resources.
Coinbase Vision Hack 2028
The company hosts a hackathon once a year and the 2018 version of the Coinbase Vision Hack 2028 was to be the biggest. Five days with all the company to build and reshape a financial system that could be used 10 years into the future.
During the event, the team let all creativity be used with standalone experiments, new features, product improvements, the creation of new apps, etc. It was important, the company states, because it enabled the developers to use their imagination and to work together with the freedom to develop new ideas absolutely without any compromise. The bigger the idea, more excitement there was.
More than 150 ideas were submitted and people, from managers, to assistants, developers and even the CEO of the company, Brian Armstrong, reunited to plan, design and code. They brainstormed during the week and awarded the best projects afterward.
The main categories were:
- Hard Fork Award (project that solved a technical debt)
- Proof of People Award (voted as favorite by the employees)
- Values Award (project that embodies communication, positive energy, continuous learning and efficient execution)
- Satoshi Award (best use of crypto)
- Vision Hack Award (best overall project).
Most Exciting Projects
The article finishes by talking about the projects that excited the company the most. The Vision Hack Award went to the Project Spend Less Money. Some people decided to use site reliability engineering principles to determine the most probable saturation points of the most expensive services of the company and implemented auto-scaling solutions to these problems.
This project was able to significantly cut costs and it surpassed the expectations, being a great example of scalability for the whole company.
Another project that was highlighted on the article was the Crypto Point of Sale. It was designed as an easy way to secure a wallet and browser. The main ideas was to enable any person in the world to start accepting cryptocurrency from any place easily, even war zones.
The PWNed Watch project was focused on security and it included ways to let the users register their information and monitor it for security breaches, as well as helping the security team to identify SIM swaps, dumb passwords. There were many project and, as the article states, they helped to define the vision of Coinbase.