We had our first "hack day" at work today. The idea is simple - you get one full day (starting from 00:01 hours) to hack on your own original idea and you have to present it at 4 in the afternoon to your whole office. At the end, a set of judges award the more interesting hacks, that could potentially turn into features added to an existing product, or full products by themselves. The main thing is, of course, that you get to work on your own idea, and have a blast at it.
My colleague Sudarshan and myself worked on one idea, and we had fun getting our stuff to work and munching sandwiches and samosas in-between (all part of the Hack Day festivities). I don't think I'm allowed to reveal what the idea is but it had something to do with both mail and messenger. At 3.30 we reached our M G Road to watch all the demos start, and then we discover a part of our demo was not working, so we grab a colleague's desktop and do some last minute firefighting, and thankfully we got it working.
The demos started on time, and I was completely blown away. The range of ideas and the different problems and angles they tackled was very interesting. Most projects were buzzword-compliant - Web 2.0, Ajax, RSS, tags, ...
Our own demo went really well and got lot of cheers from the audience which was good, and all this in our 3 minutes time slot. I was just happy that one of my zany ideas actually worked for a change, heh.
There were 2 demo tracks running in parallel, so I couldn't watch all of the nearly 90 hacks, but there were so many ideas/hacks that I was impressed with. 10 finalists were announced today, and they each get an all-expenses-paid night out along with one friend/beloved one.
Moral of the story : It is an eye-opener on how much an idea can progress in a single day!
Update : Got snaps of more cool posters :