Why I Hack on Hack Day

At Visible Measures, every quarter, our amazing engineering team organizes “Hack Day”, a 24 hour hackathon during which our folks work on ideas, cutting edge research, and experiments.  After usually working late into the night and early the next morning, there are demonstrations of all the Hacks for the entire company to see and then vote on.  I encourage people across the organization to participate as it’s great fun.  The winner of each Hack Day gets to hold the proverbial “pimp chalice” (see image below) until the next Hack Day.  

I also try to do a Hack for each Hack Day, even though my coding skills are as stale as a 10 year old bagel. Why do I bother?

I hack on Hack Day because:

  1. I want to show support and solidarity with the most dedicated, passionate, innovative, and selfless engineering team I have ever known
  2. it reminds me of how brilliant our guys really are. The sheer scale and diversity of what they deal with is unreal. My little baby attempt at a Hack Day app is just no comparison, but my struggles with building it keep our guys’ skills in perspective for me
  3. I think that CEOs of companies should have some idea how the sausage is made and I think that is why many early stage tech founders should be able to code. Even if their code, er my code, is the software equivalent of a “learn your ABC’s” book

The bigger question here is, if you are an entrepreneur, shouldn’t you know how the various parts of your business work, at least at a high level?  OK, gotta get back to it. My app still doesn’t work right.



3 thoughts on “Why I Hack on Hack Day

  1. Brian:

    Jon Pierce sent me.

    We are about six months into a new venture.

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    vsM’s “A” team has already developed several generations of commercially successful fault tolerant technology that produced $billions for companies including Digital Equipment, HP, Stratus, and Tandem. The team collectively holds over 40 related patents. In addition to currently held patents we are filing at least twelve more patents for new inventions that are the nucleus of our breakthrough vsM development. The core team includes successful entrepreneurs as well as world leading engineers: CEO, John Conway; CTO, Richard Fiorentino; CMO, Tom Wetmore; Engineering VP, Mario Troiani; Chief Architect, Dr. Chuck Kaman; & Principal Designer, Michael Lee. A basic demonstration is available today, a working prototype is planned during the first quarter and first product availability is planned for late 2014.

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