Hack Week II

Early this March, the Dropbox office was transformed into a giant open workshop.

We’re always working hard to make Dropbox better, and we often forget to take a step back and think about all the cool ideas left untapped. Hack week is a dedicated week for members and friends of the team to work on whatever they want. Over the course of Hack Week, some people built new experimental features for Dropbox, others worked on new open source projects, and a handful jammed on completely random ideas.

So what exactly does “hack” mean? The word definitely has a negative connotation of breaking into computer systems or doing other illegal things. But here, “hack” means being clever and creative despite tight constraints.

And that’s the spirit of Hack Week. It’s a great time to try something new and work with new people. It’s also a great time to tackle an ambitious project and explore the limits of what we’re able to do without deadlines or restrictions.

Hack Week is also a party! Throughout the week, volunteers from all over the company also hosted and planned events. We held our second ping pong tournament, a StarCraft coaching tournament, a lock-picking seminar, a foosball tournament, Dropbox jeopardy, Python classes, and more.

At the end of Hack Week, we held a closing ceremony where everyone presented their projects. We chose the most distinctive projects to win our Hack Week awards:

  • Shrewd: Tony Grue (Automatic Interview Scheduler)
  • Artful: Donald James (Rap Beats) and Annie Zhou (Mural)
  • Sick Nasty:  Jie Tang & Zviad Metreveli (Dropbox Marauder’s Map)
  • 1337:  Ben Darnell (Low Overhead Sampling Profiler for Python)
  • _/*h4x*_: Kevin Modzelewski & Brian Smith (Python Static Analysis and Type Inference)
  • MVP:  Rich Chan (Real-time Dropbox text editor/Dropbox Space Analyzer)

Thanks to Eric Chang for the amazing video, and everyone who came out to hack week and made projects. Happy Hacking!

Video directed by Eric Chang (@EricStrange)

Music: “We Will Learn” by Beat Culture, “Adrift (Shigeto’s Adrift A Dream Remix)” by Tycho