The Contentsquare Hackathon 2019: An Inside Look

Our 2019 Hackathon came to a close last Friday, and has left us abuzz with new ideas and energy, having filled our to-do lists with projects to grow over the coming year.

This year’s event had 4 themes, and saw employees from all offices travel across the globe and congregate in teams, in an effort to build the next big thing for our UX analytics platform. While we’re keeping our new inventions under wraps, we can give you a glimpse into how the event transpired.

Contentsquare employees congregate at our New York City office.

The 2019 Hackathon in the Words of Our Judges

Judging a Hackathon is no easy undertaking. Ours was judged by a group of those internal to Contentsquare and a few representatives from our client companies and investors. I sat down with one of our top users, Olivier Banizette, the Digital Data Manager of the fashion giant Chanel to glean a few insights.

The judges are in action in our Paris office.

What surprised you about the Contentsquare Hackathon?

“I was surprised by the capacity to deliver visible results in only two days, either through real demos, or videos and animations that were very professional.”

What’s the most difficult aspect of judging?

“The hardest thing as a judge is to rank projects with so many criteria of scoring — whether that’s added value for clients, competitive advantage for the platform, innovative idea, or Contentsquare’s internal processes changes. — Some of the projects were about platform foundation enhancement with no short term added value for clients… but still very important for the product itself.”

The 2019 Hackathon in Our Own Words

“Incredible fun and so moving to be working in a team of such committed, skilled, and talented colleagues. It must be how NBA players feel when they are in the playoffs. You are purely in the zone. You are creating both practical things but you are also planning ahead for going to market and dreaming ahead for infinite possibilities thanks to the project. Time flies. Hours don’t matter. You create and code until you drop. You compete. How awesome is that?”


“Fantastic. Everyone is so welcoming and the energy in the US office is second to none.”


“I really like brainstorming and working on new developments. I think it is so valuable for companies to support innovation. Next to that, the experience of traveling to another location, the breakfast, dinners and drinks that we have together, is really great and unique.”


“It was really nice and chill compared to other years and projects I worked on.”


“Amazing. Great people, great project, great environment.”


“It was really meaningful, smooth and easy working together with all the teammates. We had great team spirit!”

After some intense 3-day Hackathon-ing, our global team got some downtime at an NYC bar.

The Most Challenging Aspects of the Hackathon

“It’s also like Shark Tank where you have to package everything into a bulletproof pitch that is not just exciting but also realistic and executable. The why, the what, the how.”  


“Pitching the projects in only 5 minutes, we would all love to talk about it for much longer to give way more detail. However as it takes 46 seconds with the elevator to go up to the NYC office on the 54th floor, I should not complain too much about the 5 minutes ‘elevator pitch’!!”


“Working long hours with jetlag.”


“Managing to split the work and make sure everyone is contributing to their full potential to the project.”


“The most complicated part is always brainstorming and having a clear vision from the start of what we have to do.”

Hackathoners in the UK office pose with a furry friend.

Highlights of the Hackathon

“The part where we and all the other teams are in that creative phase.  Also seeing the other teams beautiful ideas, creative pitches and results.”


“Hearing about all the incredible other projects. Its gives me real goosebumps knowing I work for a company with such talented, driven and enthusiastic colleagues that all try to make CS bigger & better with their amazing ideas.”


“Hearing about all the projects that everyone has been working on during the final.”


“Working with the US teams and getting to know the teams on a more intimate, friendly environment (and free food!!)”


“Tighten the links with other people I do not regularly interact with.”

“To meet people there, work on my English skills, and because the project I was interested in was managed by an amazing US person 😉 ”


“Getting to see the atmosphere at the other office and meeting other people!”


The 2020 Hackathon will be out of this world; see you next year!

An eclectic mix of Contentsquare employees from around the world gather in our New York office and watch the results of the Hackathon.

Hackathon 2019: Building the Next Big Thing

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:

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.