Hackathon is Not Just for Coders: 48 Hours to Write a Book

Three times a year our software development teams at NewVoiceMedia take part in a hack-a-thon. This is an opportunity for developers and testers to try some new ideas.  Maybe they want to fix a process, improve a part of the product set, try new tools, learn new coding languages or explore third party tools or features.

Companies such as Google and Facebook have similar events. They know that engineers are naturally curious and creative. Allowing that creativity free-reign in a hack-a-thon can generate outstanding innovations for the company.

Allowing technical people to explore what interests them gives NewVoiceMedia many benefits too. Some of our most popular features are the result of an idea germinated or explored during a hack-a-thon.

But what about those people who aren't technical? What about those who are creative and innovative, but don’t code? Should we just shrug and say, tough break? Or should we try and find ways to allow them to innovate for NewVoiceMedia too?

It is exactly this last question we have been experimenting with over the last year or so. Each hack-a-thon we get bigger and bolder in our non-technical hack-a-thon.

Last week six people from our Agile Community of Interest wrote and published a book on leanpub. In just 48 hours.

I personally found the act of writing the book a thrilling experience.  However, we gained valuable experience working together as a team to deliver a product.  As Scrum Masters we help & enable teams to deliver great products for our customers. Usually though, we don't contribute directly ourselves to delivering the product.

Ok, I hear you ask doubtfully, so you wrote a book and enjoyed the experience. But, is it any good?

Well, we think so. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved. We are also pleased to offer the book to the wider agile community for free. Giving back to a community we have been part of for so long was our goal.

We would be delighted for you to have a look and see for yourself.

You can download the book from leanpub here. We'd love to hear what you think!
Helen Lisowski
Helen Lisowski

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