Create and export GTFS-Flex Data with Spare's free toolLearn More

Go Home

A Recap of Spare's 2023 Fall Hackathon

In this blog, we recap the highlights of Spare's October Hackathon in Vancouver. From a team-wide road test to cross-functional collaboration, discover how this event reinforced our collaborative team culture and resulted in impactful enhancements to the Spare platform.


Abbey Moores

In October, our entire Product and Software Development teams convened for a full week in person in Vancouver as part of our twice annual Hackathon. A perfect event for working together in person, the team broke into small strike-team style groups to work on targeted product enhancements.  This gathering not only yielded cutting-edge projects but also reinforced Spare's unique and collaborative team culture.

Highlights from the Week

On day one of the Hackathon, we commenced with a team-wide road test. In this simulation, participants assumed the roles of drivers, dispatchers, booking agents, and riders, gaining valuable insights into the user experience of Spare’s platform from various perspectives. This exercise laid the groundwork for refining and enhancing Spare's services over the course of the week.

After the road test, participants identified specific areas of the Spare platform to focus on for the week. What makes the Hackathon truly special is the creation of cross-functional teams for each project.  This collaboration brings developers from different teams together, cultivating a more robust culture and sparking the generation of unique ideas.

One of the standout moments of the Hackathon was the unveiling of numerous new projects after an entire week of hard work. The diverse array of projects showcased the team's dedication to finding creative solutions to challenges in the transportation industry. During the closing ceremonies, the entire Hackathon team, along with other Spartians, gathered either in person or virtually on the final day to demonstrate the results of everyone's work throughout the event.

At the core of Spare’s Hackathons is the emphasis on team bonding. The event commenced with a delightful surprise – personalized trading cards for each employee, inspired by Pokémon cards and made by our very own super-talented design team. This not only added a touch of creativity but also solidified the sense of identity and camaraderie within the team. Beyond the realms of coding and development, we also enjoyed team outings of bowling, visits to an arcade bar, and a round of mini-golf.

Key Takeaways

The week's efforts are already making an impact, with some enhancements now live on the Spare platform. More features and improvements are slated to roll out soon, promising an even better experience for Spare's customers.

Spare's Vancouver Hackathon not only showcased the technical skills of our Development and Product teams but also underscored the significance of our collaborative and vibrant team culture. Committed to innovation and continuous improvement, our small but mighty team can swiftly initiate change. As the projects from the Hackathon continue to enhance the Spare platform, users can anticipate a more refined and efficient transportation experience. The groundwork for our next Hackathon is already underway, promising further strides in innovation and enhancement!

In the Hackathon's closing ceremonies, the entire Spare team came together in-person and virtually to learn about what was achieved over the week.