TealBook Completes Our First Hackathon

By Khasir Hean

At every level of our organization, TealBook works to maintain a culture that encourages all employees to continue learning and developing their skills at every step of their careers. While we typically do this through career planning, setting out growth plans, and offering our team the resources they need to further their knowledge, one TealBook employee decided to take things a step further and offer up a new idea.

Machine Learning Engineer, Khasir Hean, explains how his own previous experience led him to suggest holding TealBook’s first-ever company-wide Hackathon. 

What inspired the Hackathon?

I’ve been a Machine Learning Engineer here for about a year now and an intern for nearly a year before that, making me “old” in TealBook years. I’ve seen a lot of things change and take place in my time here. One of the things that stuck with me was the Hackathon specifically for interns that took place over a week in the summer of 2020. That one was organized by Software Engineer, Elizabeth Porter,  and it was an amazing experience where I got to collaborate with two other interns. The atmosphere of collaboration, competition, and innovation was energizing, despite it being virtual. I wanted to replicate that feeling on a company-wide scale while also continuing to foster innovation here at TealBook.

How did you prepare for the Hackathon?

I’ve participated in other Hackathons as well, though I’ve never run one before. I asked Elizabeth what she had done to prepare and did some of my own research on Hackathons. I ended up with a quite few tasks to check off:  contact judges and mentors, send out a survey, pick a date, gather a dataset for the Hackathon theme, book a virtual venue, hold prep sessions, select prizes based on the budget, send out a signup sheet, find teams for people, just to name a few. 

It turned out to be quite a lot of work, and I couldn’t have done it alone, so I’m grateful to all the TealBookers who helped organize the event.

Describe the day-of events

On the day of the virtual Hackathon, I crossed my fingers as we held the kickoff presentation and gave out the full dataset of shipping data to our hackers. Thankfully, the hackers could access the dataset, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. 

At the end of the day, judging was a little hectic, but we made it through with Sam Stryker, Director of Business Operations as Emcee. The projects were all impressive, especially considering that hackers were only able to work on them for less than seven hours! 

What were some takeaways from the event?

Since this was our first event like this, there were some key learnings and growing pains that we can keep in mind for next time. If I were to change things for the next Hackathon, it would be to ensure that hackers have more tools they need to collaborate on a great idea and change the judging format to be a bit more organized.  All in all, it was a successful day and a true testament to the incredible talent we have at TealBook. On a final note, congratulations to the Product OG team on winning the day!

Some of our TealBookers enjoy a well-deserved dinner together post-Hackathon

Fostering a Culture of Excellence

From the daily work we do to enhance supplier data to the values we base our company culture on, TealBook aims to help every employee feel accepted, supported, and valued as an integral part of our team.

We are proud to have such a dedicated and innovative team that hosts events like this and consistently contributes to a culture of excellence. 
If you would like to be a part of the organization transforming the world through the use of smarter supplier data, take a look at our Careers Page. We are always looking to add to our team.

About the Author

Khasir Hean is a Machine Learning Engineer at TealBook.

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