Have you ever heard of a “hack-a-thon”? Usually they’re an event hosted by a large software company with a particular goal in mind. The goals range from seeing who can “break” a piece of software or develop something new in a very short period of time. Hack-a-thons can range in length from days to weeks and require 100% attention of those involved.
At W&R Studios, we are a small company so we can’t really participate in any formal ‘hack-a-thon’ events, but co-founder and lead developer, Dan Woolley thought it would be a great idea to do something similar to a “hack-a-thon” internally. We are always coming up with ideas for new products to better serve the real estate community, so Dan thought a “hack week” could help us jump start the concepting and building of a few possible new products.
So we took four of our developers, Tory Brady, Jon Druse, Paul Gustafson and Derek Rush and split them into teams of two. They were tasked to spend the week from December 15th – 19th in pairs and build a new product completely from scratch. The following Monday, December 22nd, they then had to present their new products to the entire company.
In this blog post series, I’ll take you through W&R Studios’ Hack Week from start to finish. First, we’ll talk briefly about the kinds of products both development teams were tasked to build. Second, we’ll look at one team in depth and learn a little bit about their process. Then we’ll talk with the other team and finally, unveil their product demos and presentations.
This is your insider’s look into how the sausage is made at W&R Studios!
After much debate we settled on two products to focus on. This doesn’t mean we don’t have other product ideas nor does it mean that the two products choose for “hack week” with eventually become products. But these products generated the most excitement from the staff. Also, keep in mind that if either product is eventually built and launched, it may not have the same name as listed here. But enough of the disclaimers, here we go….
Product #1: Cloud MLX
Assigned to Developers: Jon and Paul
A new way of searching MLS data. If Cloud CMA is a better way to printing reports from the MLS and Cloud Streams is a better way of doing listing alerts and Client Portals than Cloud MLX would be a better way to search MLS data. Not a replacement to an MLS system, but an alternative front end to an MLS system.
Product #2: Cloud Open House
Assigned to Developer: Tory and Derek
Can we build a product to help agents get more from an Open House. Can we re-imagine what an Open House really is?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where we take a closer look at team Jon and Paul (aka “the Beatles”) and watch Cloud MLX come to life!