Hack Week

The Hacks are Back! Winners of 2016.1 Hack Week

In keeping with tradition, RichRelevance hosted its 5th Annual Hack Week last week uniting the best and the brightest within our Science, Operations and Engineering Organizations.  Working together, the teams developed some of the most innovative products and product enhancements we’ve ever seen in RichRelevance history.

In the spirit of free thinking, {rr} Hack Week is governed by few rules and little direction, to give way to big ideas and unique problem solving approaches. That said, a little inspiration is always needed, so before unleashing their inner creativity and digging into their projects we offered the team some simple suggestions:

  • Feel free to choose something that interests you and that is relevant to our customers

  • You are encouraged to collaborate with other teams within the company – some great ideas and skillsets can be found outside of Engineering

  • Most importantly, have fun

Our 5th Annual Hack Week kicked off on Friday, April 8th with 16 projects in development.  The week culminated in a 2 1/2 hour demo-thon last Friday, and I was amazed by the innovative and diverse projects showcased.  The presentations included production quality demos, great insight into current data trends, extremely useful dev/ops/QA tools, as well as new approaches to pattern recognition that would make any geek swoon.

Our esteemed judges reviewed each presentation and awarded prizes to the following projects best on five categories: Unsung Hero, Geekiest, Raving Fan, Fan Favorite, Best in Show.

And the winners were, [drum roll please]…

Unsung Hero: Not flashy but makes a difference

Team Project Name:

“Parquet data format with prestoDB and data visualization”

100 Foot Overview:

Converted raw logs into a new queryable format, enabling space savings, incredible speeds, and data visualization.


Geekiest: Most algorithmic

Team Project Name:

“Fast CTR Prediction with FTRL”

100 Foot Overview:

Reimagined how we predict clicks, by creating an algorithm that decreases execution time to <1 minute, provides better accuracy, is memory efficient, and enables incremental data, it does it all!


Raving Fan: What will make customers jump for joy

Team Project Name:

“Weather based targeting and rules”

100 Foot Overview:

A fully new take on the infrastructure to pull in weather data, categorize it by type, geocode and build models that enable users to target content and rules by types of weather that is/will be occurring.


A Double Whammy! Winning 2 Awards:

Fan Favorite: Voted on by the masses

Best In Show: Overall the most impressive. This project checked all the boxes: impressive technology, great presentation, humor and something that our customers could really benefit from.

Team Project Name:

“Deep learning technology for new rec strategies”

100 Foot Overview:

Here the team did something really interesting – leveraging some of our existing deep learning technology to produce some new and interesting recommendation strategies (we’re keeping top secret for now :))

A big congratulations to the winners and to everyone to participated! This year we had some of the best submissions in RichRelevance Hack Week history.  All projects were super ambitious and visionary for our company and products. We are looking forward to incorporating these ideas into our future product roadmap. For more geeky fun, stay tuned for updates from the {rr} 2016.2 Hack Week happening later this year.


Under the Hood @RichRelevance’s First Hack Week

RichRelevance hosted its first official Hack Week last week, and I challenged our engineers with a few simple rules before they embarked on unleashing their inner creativity to dig into their personal projects.

  • You do NOT need to create a new product. Hack Week is for research, ideas, or improvements!
  • Use Hack Week strictly for your projects.
  • You are encouraged to collaborate with other teams within the company (Client Services has some great ideas and skills!)
  • No matter what Pink or AMT (our product management directors) tell you, don’t work on “work.” Ignore them : )
  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Everyone Participating

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