Hack Week is the time of year when we work on something completely new. We pitch different projects and push them to completion in just five days. The fun part is that they don’t have to be work-related projects—so whether you decide to hide rubber ducks around the office in a competition for glory or to develop a smart solution for sorting out the traffic problem, you’ll find others in the office who are excited to work with you.
Our open office space encourages brainstorming and interactive team dynamics, and that inspires us with fresh new ideas. We need time to work on those ideas that we can’t explore during our regular office days when we’re working hard. That’s why we dedicate one full week twice a year to putting those ideas in motion, and we call it Hack Week!
Welcome to Hack Week!
At the beginning of Hack Week, each team member with a project idea pitches it to the rest of the BugSquad. Then, everyone gets to vote on the ideas they think are worth implementing. After voting, we form teams, gather to kick off our plans, and get to work right away.
By the end of the week, each team presents their results, and everyone else votes on the winning idea according to our four criteria: completeness, innovation, technical difficulty, and presentation. And of course, the winning team gets very cool prizes!
Why Hack Week?
One of our core values at Instabug is Work Hard, Play Hard. This value is all about taking healthy breaks when needed. Building Egypt’s first unicorn is not an easy job and it requires us to put all our energy into it! On the other hand, we need to find balance between work and fun. Hack Week is one of the times when we get to practice the “Play Hard” side of the equation.
During Hack Week, we get to bond on another level. We work with team members with whom we don’t get the chance to work during our regular day-to-day tasks. And we learn each other’s hidden talents. For example, everyone was surprised by how some of our team members are really good rappers! What’s more, we also get to learn new skills and push our existing skill sets to the next level.
Hack Week September 2019
For our most recent Hack Week, we decided to get out of the office for a day. So we headed offsite for a day trip to Beit El Wadi, Wadi El Natroun. The day was packed with activities related to team building and cooperation. We made sure there were diverse activities to match all tastes. There was something for everyone, whether they were football fans, adventurers looking for rock climbing and zip lining, or even just wanted to chill by the pool.
We returned to the office on the following day to continue working on our projects, which were very diverse and innovative this time around. Some of them were Instabug-related, like a bot to automate quick team member feedback and an office rewards system or a fun video for onboarding new team members. Others weren’t work-related at all, like the group focused on creating art from recycled plastic, or the duck hunting competition.
This Year’s Results
On the last day, the office was super excited to see the results of everyone’s hard work. We kicked off the day with team presentations, and everyone was really impressed with what each team had achieved in such a short time. We voted on the winning idea according to our four criteria and we selected a winning team: Music!
This team wrote, performed, and produced a full-length song about a typical workday at Instabug in a fun and innovative way that totally represents our office culture. They also filmed a music video, which you can watch here.
The following week, we resumed our usual day-to day-activities. Refreshed and recharged, we came back with clear minds, excited to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges we face every day.
Hack Week helps us stay motivated and gives us a positive boost in our productivity levels at work. We also strengthen our bonds after spending time together, having fun, and working on unusual tasks with different people than usual. We can’t wait for our next Hack Week, so stay tuned!
Check out a couple of our previous Hack Weeks:
- Hack Week March 2019: Taking ‘Play Hard’ Seriously
- Hack Week April 2017: A Peek Inside Instabug’s Culture