April 10, 2019 marks the first day of the annual Contentsquare Hackathon, an event equally comprised of teamwork and healthy competition, as it aims to fortify our platform and make a dent in the SaaS space at large.

Founded in 2017, this three-day event assembles our employees together from around the world into small, international teams that will work on projects in Paris, London and New York.  

Comprised of developers, programmers, designers, project managers and many others, the Hackathon is our foremost event for innovation. It is overseen by a team of internal and external judges who will supervise 21 teams, 3 of which will be deemed the victors for the first, second and third prizes.

Previous winners have gone on to see their creations come to fruition on our platform, as we’ve further developed them in our lab and integrated them into our software.           

Here are a few notable things about the Hackathon, including this year’s edition.

The Birth of the Hackathon

In June 2017, our Chief Technical Officer Mathias Levêque orchestrated a multi-day event centered on product and R&D teams cooking up new ideas for the software. Although this event was purely focused on developing the product, the collaborative spirit was already brewing, with design and client facing profiles already participating. And so, the hackathon was born and since its first go in 2017, has evolved to include non-product projects, from sales strategies to HR campaigns.

What Past Hackathon Projects Have Contentsquare Incorporated?

The following names but a few winning Hackathon projects that went on to be implemented into the Contentsquaresoftware and are today used by clients:

  • Sunburst 2.0: Conceived in 2018 and also called the reverse sunburst, this function is part of the customer journey analysis module, which shows you the user flow, but in reverse.
  • Smart Alerts: Also formulated in 2018, this nifty tool is part of AI alerts, which flag anomalies in your site activity.
  • Decision Board: Originally part of the Action Plan Table, this interface allows clients to keep track of their KPI- linked decisions, based on our data. Through this board, clients able to create analyses and recommendations and see the impact of their decisions.

Employees from around the world in our New York office hard at work (and play) during the first day of the 2019 Hackathon.

Themes of Contentsquare Hackathon 2019

As with previous Hackathons, this year’s edition is company-wide, with employees mingling across seas. This year’s Hackathon was developed with four themes so that the projects have central points of focus, with concrete things to strive for.

These are the 4 themes of Hackathon 2019 and what they mean for us:

  1. Client Retention: To increase clients’ usage of the platform, increase our client base, raise the sense of ROI for clients, better clients’ understanding of the software
  2. Product Vision Acceleration: To create an omnichannel picture, one that captures user interactions on new devices, interfaces and offline and to create new touchpoints and accompanying data.
  3. Empowered Internal Organization: To encourage learning and development within the team, to make relevant, quantified information accessible and to achieve international scalability.
  4. Market Leader Positioning: To establish ourselves as the trustworthy, go-to authority in the UX analytics space, to lead in new regions/industries and to be useful to small and medium businesses.

It’s busy in our Paris office during our annual Hackathon.


How the Hackathon is Overseen and the Impetus to Win

The Hackathon may seem like all work and no play, but in fact, there are three slots for prizes to be won. These give employees the incentive to give their all in hatching up something inventive.

As previous Hackathons, this year’s will be overseen by a team of judges, who will ultimately decide who wins each prize. This year, there are 2 selection phases, made up of a semi-final jury and the final jury.

Comprised of Contentsquare employees only, the semi-final jury views the prototypes of each team, speaks with them and decides which ones will move forward to the final round.

The final jury is composed of several Contentsquare employees, along with one of our investors’ representatives and other judges from our client companies who represent some of our top users.

As for the prizes, they have been evolving with each Hackathon. For the 2019 edition, the project that comes in at first place rewards team members with the highest cash award. During the 2018 Hackathon, the gift was the option of a GoPro camera or a portable photo printer. But this year, we decided to show our employees the money. 

Winners of the Hackathon will also have their projects seen to integration with our platform, or, if it’s not directly tied to the software, it will receive more resources for further development.  Long term nonproduct projects will receive a dedicated task force.

The Hackathon to Improve the Contentsquare SaaS

If you couldn’t tell by now, the Hackathon is one of Contentsquare’s chief opportunities to develop quick and innovative projects that will be incorporated into the product roadmap. This event also gives us a chance to mull over and work on long term projects like the chatbot or real life UX.

Additionally, the Hackathon allows us to devote some time to improve our company productivity and organization with the production of internal tools.

Signing off, we offer some wisdom from Julien Diennet, our Lead Business Intelligence in Operations, who explained of his next Hackathon project: “It (developing this project) would take 3 years… or a hackathon.”

Don’t forget to check out our upcoming post, which covers the goings-on of the actual event, including insight from workers and judges.

Big ideas are stirring up in one of the Hackathon’s teams in Paris.