Rocket developers don’t hack–they build
At the Rocket 2013 Leadership Summit, an annual event held every December in Boston, it was recommended that we co-host a Hackathon with technical leaders and worthy developers from around the world the same week that all the business and technical leaders get together to discuss innovation and strategy. This idea was warmly embraced by co-founder and CEO Andy Youniss (a software developer himself by trade) and was scheduled for the 2014 event.
Thus, the Rocket Build event, aka Hackathon, was wildly embraced by developers from all over the world. With it’s engineering heritage and disproportionate ratio of developers to total employees (nearly 50%, the whole company) the team said if it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for Rocket. Dozens of Build projects were submitted and 19 projects were selected. What separates Rocket from other tech companies is that the engineers here don’t just think about “cool” stuff–they think about solving real world problems with advanced but (maybe) supplementary technology to venerable systems – like the IBM mainframe.
I was particularly proud that my business unit got six projects selected and I had engineers in from the US, the UK, Russia and China. The buzz was palpable on Sunday evening after Andy’s speech, and some enthusiastic developers didn’t sleep that first night. The teams are not sure how they will be recognized or rewarded, which means they are doing it for the sheer fun of creating and collaborating with like people.
You never know. Maybe our next multi-million dollar product is being built in Massachusetts. Who needs Silicon Valley when you have Boston in December?