What the Hack! The Story of the Cloudera Hackathon

Every growing, dynamic engineering culture needs a hackathon every once in a while. 

Earlier this week, Cloudera put that thought into action with a two-day, around-the-clock “What the Hack!” internal hackathon in our Palo Alto offices, with our friends from Accel Partners underwriting the omnipresent food and beverage (thanks!). The carrot: “Fun surprise awards, and most important, the rights to brag about your cool hacking ideas.”

The morning began with a warm and festive welcome:

The hacking proceeded forthwith. I was careful to keep my distance, so as not to disturb the Hacker Zen State:

They’re everywhere!

Dinner arrived in true hipster fashion, via The Chairman truck — with Mao’s advice that “A revolution is not a dinner party” ignored:

After 30 straight hours, 29 different projects were presented to our celebrity judges (including CEO Mike Olson, Original Data Hacker Jeff Hammerbacher, Eli Collins, CTO Amr Awadallah, and friends from Accel and Greylock Partners) – with no singing involved, thankfully – and “People’s Choice” and “Critics’ Choice” winners were named (credit for awesome pano-shot to Alex Moundalexis):

A handful of hard-working, hard-playing engineers, some of whom had hacked throughout the night, won iPad Minis for their efforts – but even better, they acquired those all-important bragging rights. “Critics’ Choice” winners pictured below:

And the proud “People’s Choice” winner is pictured here:

And that was the Story of the Cloudera Hackathon. Keep calm and hack on!

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