Q: What do you get when you put 150 engineers from nine countries in one room to spend a week working on more than 20 vexing technology problems?
A: Rocket.Build, Rocket Software’s annual hackathon, which brings engineers and programmers from around the world to work in teams to develop new products to help Rocket customers solve their business and technology challenges.
On Sunday, Rocket CEO Andy Youniss welcomed all of the participants to Boston to kick off this event. Rocket.Build got its start four years ago as part of the company’s leadership summit and has grown into a major event in its own right. Hundreds of engineers from every part of Rocket apply to participate, and once the most promising projects are selected the teams book their tickets for Boston. This year’s finalists come from Russia, China, South Africa, The Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Germany, Australia, and several US locations.
Teams typically include four members, many of whom have never met each other in person. They have five days to build new products, which are then presented to all of the participants and the Rocket executive leadership team. A team of judges will evaluate all of the work, and winners will be announced on the last day of the event.
So why does Rocket.Build matter? On one hand, it’s an intensive development program that helps the company create new products and see problems (and solutions) in a whole new way. But just as important in the focus on collaboration. As Rocket has grown into a global company we have always been mindful of maintaining real human connection between Rocketeers no matter where they live.
If we want to live up to our credo of One Rocket, we can’t just have people working in isolation. Rocket.Build lets everyone break down barriers and borders and work with people they might never meet as part of their day-to-day work. Rocketeers are amazing people as individuals. Rocketeers working together are unstoppable.