CompanyEngineering

Rippling Hack Week: ideas, application, ambition, and imagination

Aditi KandpalNov 4, 2021

Hack Week is a week-long, bi-annual (by popular demand!) competition open to everyone at Rippling, tech skills notwithstanding. Categories include product feature prototypes, internal tooling, marketing and promotion, customer experience and more! 

Hack Week helps Rippling tap the wealth of experience, knowledge, and new ideas that our employees are always coming up with to create inspirational changes to our product. So many times, our clients have been delighted by the changes that have come about as a result of Hack Week. 

And it’s a process that helps us continue to be a company and a product that Frees Smart People to Work On Hard Problems. 

We promise our employees that when they work at Rippling, they will be empowered to test their limits, and hopefully, surpass them. Hack Week is just one more way we like to give our employees the opportunity to fly.

How the magic happens

  • Jot down your lofty, ambitious ideas on a platform open to all employees. This time we had nearly 90 awesome ideas that people across the company, including Ripplers from Product, Sales, Engineering, Finance, and Marketing, wanted to make into a reality. Despite the challenges of remote work and collaboration, people came together to support each other. 
  • Identify and collaborate with your volunteer team over the course of the following two weeks to execute. Employees get time off from their regular responsibilities to help them brainstorm and collaborate with their team. 
  • Present your Hack on Demo Day!

Hackstream: because ambition seeks inspiration

Hackstream is a four-day schedule of 30-minute learning sessions — a mini-conference, if you will! Open to all employees, the goal of Hackstream is to get you to think outside of the box and learn something new from your peers. Whether it is negotiation tips from the OG Parker himself, quick and dirty personal finance tips, or advice in navigating the complexities of human behavior, Hackstream had it all.  

Finally, we arrive at...D-day! With 20-plus presentations, we were in for a hell of a ride. Most of us were shocked at both the quality and number of awesome ideas that were executed perfectly in a matter of days. As if technical brilliance wasn’t enough, the presenters regaled us with hilarious performances, commentary, and props.

Voting and winners 

After the presentations, we asked people to vote in a variety of categories to select the winners. 

We celebrated the Best Presentation, the Best No-Code (non-technical) hack, the Moonshot hack for something truly audacious, and many more. What are the rewards? Gift cards, bragging rights, and most importantly, a chance to work your hack into the Rippling Product and directly impact thousands of companies and the experience of their employees! 

Though this event lasted only a couple of weeks, the improvements and scalability it added to the experience of both our customers and internal employees was tremendous and outsized. We learned so much about our culture and values in action, and what is truly meaningful to people—both at Rippling and outside.  

To get people in the mood, we sent them all these cute little T-shirts and tote bags to rock on the video call on Demo Day. With everyone spread across the world and timezones, it took a concerted effort to bring the vision to life but the stellar behind-the-scenes team did its magic nonetheless. 

What happens to these ideas now? Well, some of them are already on their way to production and others will be worked on, improved, and implemented as soon as possible. Using dedicated Slack channels and progress update trackers, these teams are continuing to plug away at their ideas until they’re ready for the world. 

At Rippling, We Run Hard. We have lofty ambitions and we know what we need to do to get there. You’d think that there would be no room for more! How energizing it is to be proven wrong, again and again. To find out that not only are people willing to Run Hard on the problems that we want to solve for our customers but to also Push The Limits of Possible as soon as they are given the slightest opportunity to, is special to Rippling. We know we want to build a company where people feel empowered, encouraged and free to push us all towards a better future. This Hack Week felt like a little bit of proof that we are on the right track.

Want to join us? We’re hiring across all roles.

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