Rocket.Build/Local MultiValue 2017

As a part of its continuing commitment to both R&D and its employees, Rocket Software holds small, annual, localized ‘hackathons’ or Rocket.Build/Local events, which are precursors to the main Rocket.Build event hosted in Waltham (held in October this year). These local events provide an opportunity for employees from different development teams to work together on projects of their choosing. Teams are given 24 hours to create, build, and present their projects. The projects are judged by both peers and executives, and the names of the winning team members are added to local office plaques, which are located prominently at the office entrances.

Dorien Gardner looks like he’s working alone, but he’s really working with his partner, Hesam Shamshiri, who was working in the Irvine office.

Each year, the teams spring up, the excitement increases, and the buzz in the office gets louder as ideas are discussed and momentum builds. Recently, the Denver and Irvine offices hosted their combined, third annual Rocket.Build/Local MultiValue event. This year, the event was held in conjunction with Support week, which allowed several members of our international support team to participate.

The competition was lively, to say the least. Twenty teams comprising 48 developers, support engineers, information developers, QA engineers, and LSEs battled for the win. Teams ranged in size from small groups of one, to large groups of five.

The event kicked off at 9am on Thursday, with a breakfast and an explanation of the rules. The teams huddled together to talk about ideas, plans, problems, solutions, and everything in between. Offices, conference rooms, and other work areas were commandeered. Rocket provided breakfasts, lunches, dinner, snacks, libations, and more to keep the teams motivated and uninterrupted as they raced to complete their projects on time. Coworkers who weren’t on teams, especially those in Support, stepped in to cover issues and customer calls and kept things running smoothly.

Many of the teams worked late into the night, enjoying an ice cream sundae bar – complete with fun toppings, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel, and of course whipped cream – to help keep their inventive juices flowing. Jokes filtered through the air as small gatherings of folks discussed their projects. One team even sent a member over to a different group to ask for help solving a tricky problem.

Mike Rajkowski (Irvine), Steve Murray-Wolf (Denver), Jonathan Smith (UK) and Larry Schoenleber (So Cal) from left to right.

The Friday morning light saw teams in the office early, trying valiantly to beat the clock and complete their projects by the 11am deadline. Last minute changes were made, pre-demo problems were found, and in the Denver office, an unexpected fire drill forced the evacuation of the office for a while.

As the development wound down, the teams started putting their presentations together. All presentations were limited to 3 minutes, and they were live streamed internationally. The presentations were full of energy and highlighted truly remarkable projects.

The energy in the room was palpable – anticipation was in the air. It took nearly two hours to get through all the presentations and it was great to see the applause and support for each project. When the tallies were finally counted, the numbers were very close. Every one of the participants did a fantastic job, and all the projects were useful and well put together.

Going forward, all the projects will be reviewed by the issue acceptance team to determine if they will be productized.

Here’s to a last round of applause to all the teams, their hard work, and the great projects they developed.

Anne Waite 1 Posts

Anne Waite is Senior Manager of Information Development at Rocket Software. She holds a BA in English and an MS in Technical Communication. Anne has been with the MultiValue group for over 10 years, and is passionate about creating positive user experiences. In her spare time, she enjoys taking part in several of the many outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer and is an avid basketball fan.


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