It's hard to believe it's already 2016. When looking at our calendars, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to find that we already have a lot on our agenda for the year. But, before diving in to the new year with both feet, here's a recap of our 2015:
With 11 events in 2015, we hit our target of running an event every 2 months out of the park. We ran a total of 7 Design Jams, 3 Hackathons and 1 ShipIt.
Traveling the globe to evangelize innovation
The Innovation Labs team managed to log a few air miles this year. As part of our charter to bring hackathons and design jams as a way to accelerate innovation within Oracle and with Partners, we ran events in 6 different locations, including 5 different countries.
Future of Information Design Jam kickoff in Bangalore, India in November
I'm not sure how this happened, but we managed to hear exactly 100 pitches of new ideas over the course of the events. If you've been following this blog, you'll know that we've already created demos out of a couple of them, and there are several more that have started the patent process.
Erika and Rafa showing off one of the hackathon demos at the OpenWorld Cloud UX Apps Exchange
One thing that makes me particularly proud is how quickly hackathons and design jams as a cultural phenomenon have spread within Oracle. For the events we ran in 2015, we had over 550 participants across over 90 internal Oracle organizations! As I mentioned in one of our 2 Minute Tech Tips on Hackathons and MacGyvering, one of the goals of Innovation Events is to get cross-pollination of the considerable expertise that already exists within Oracle and with Partners, and we're particularly pleased that most participants took our advice when forming their teams to "reach across the aisle" and find people whose skills complemented theirs. The networking aspect of our hackathons is always rated really highly and we're happy that people are leveraging them to make some new connections to further their own skills and careers.
Ivy Leung is passionate about conveying her idea at a design jam
One of our goals for 2015 was to start to work with Partners, and in September, with the help of Ultan O'Broin (@usableapps) we ran our first event with our Platinum Partner, eProseed
in the Netherlands. The event was a great success, and also gave us
the opportunity to reach out to the local university design school.
Having Gen Y folks in the teams was an eye opener and gave us all some
great insight into how our future users expect our applications to be.
Mentor DJ Ursal (@djursal) taking a break with some participants at our Partner hackathon with eProseed in September
We enlisted mentor experts for every event we ran to provide expertise, guidance and troubleshooting in design, development and the relevant technology. The success of the events is due in large part to the access to these experts and we thank them all for their time and not inconsiderable efforts.
Mentor and Data Visualization expert Julia Blyumen lending her expertise to teams during a design jam
Noel Portugal and Eduardo Moranchel troubleshoot a Raspberry Pi connection. Noel was a mentor for 3 of our IoT events in 2015.
No one starves at our events. One of the stats we don't track is the amount of caffeine, candy, and energy bars we've consumed running events during the year. I have a sneaky suspicion that one of the reasons my team loves running events in Guadalajara, Mexico is that we always get great food trucks.
Food Truck at our Mexico Development Center IoT Hackathon
· We can't even have a party without a hackathon. The annual UX Holiday Party in December featured a 15 minute hackathon with a challenge to create a product that promotes world peace. It's amazing how creative the UX team is and what they can do with a flower, a troll and some jingle bells.
That was 2015 in a nutshell for our team. We already have some design jams and an IoT Cloud hackathon in the works, and will be doing a bit more Partner outreach as we solidify our 2016 plans. If you have a great idea for a hackathon or design jam, please be in touch.
The rest of the UX Innovation Labs team and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and interesting 2016. We'll look forward to seeing more of you in person at events or conferences throughout the year.