HackDays and Creativity

On Friday, instead of a regular workday at Zemanta, we decided to have a hackday. That means, that we put on hold our backlogs, and everybody was free to code whatever he pleases. While there wasn't required that hackday projects have any immediate benefit for Zemanta, it has turned out that everybody did something Zemanta related. It was great to see everybody so dedicated to the success of Zemanta and you can expect at least some of the hackday prototypes becoming new features of Zemanta or even new, exciting products. HackDays are still quite unknown outside of a startup community. I've never heard of IT department in a bank or an accounting software vendor having a hackday. But in my opinion a hackday is a very effective tool how to encourage changing viewpoints of everybody involved. Team members gain new ideas on how to solve problems, line managers get a first hand demonstration on how creative their team really is, while top managers get a chance to promote culture of creativity instead of just productivity. I hope our example will encourage you to try a hackday yourself, too.