The hack-a-thon kick off

Metal Toad’s AWS Media Services Hackathon

This is an exciting week at Metal Toad—it’s hackathon time! Twice a year, the Toads devote two full days to rapid innovation, and it’s always a blast. And since we’ve been a remote-first company since last fall, we’re well prepared to ideate and collaborate closely from a distance. 


What is a hackathon?

Metal Toad hackathons are 48-hour innovation marathons. Hackathons are one way we invest in R&D and boost our people’s tech and problem-solving skills—while having a great time to boot.

Here’s the details:

  • We start with a challenge based upon the most exciting emerging technologies, plus the business needs our clients face
  • Before the event, Toads form into teams and come up with a project they want to tackle 
  • First thing Wednesday, the hacking commences! Teams dive into a flurry of ideation, building, collaboration, and testing
  • By Thursday night, each team will have built a working product
  • On Friday, the teams present their projects, and celebration ensues!


What’s the value in doing a hackathon?

Metal Toad’s been doing bi-annual hackathons for several years because they deliver real business value (along with a lot of fun!). A few of the benefits:

  • Flexing quick, inventive thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Diving into new technologies and increasing expertise
  • Building stronger relationships and collaboration
  • Developing a host of new skills, ideas, and insights
  • Prototyping innovative digital products poised to deliver value to the market

How can you follow the action?

The challenge for this week’s hackathon is to use AWS Media Services to create a fully functional video platform—and you’ll definitely want to see how the Toads tackle it (drones may be involved!). 

  • Follow us on social media—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—for ongoing updates
  • Look for videos on our social channels of the teams’ progress Wednesday and Thursday (follow #metaltoad so you’re sure to catch the posts)
  • We’ll post a summation of what the Toads achieved after their presentations on Friday
  • Next week, keep an eye out (on social channels and our blog) for reflections from each Toad on the insights they gleaned from the event

How can you run your own hackathon?

Once you see how much cutting-edge thinking can be squeezed out of a mere 48 hours, you just might be inspired to host a hackathon for your own teams. Here’s how you can get started:

  • Check out our blog post on how to run a great hackathon
  • Take a look at what our teams have built in previous hackathons
  • Get in touch! We’d love to help you up your innovation game with an exciting event   
Date posted: May 6, 2020

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About the Author

Corinna Gelster-Borgardt, Director of Marketing and Brand

Corinna graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BFA in Graphic Design. With over a decade of experience working as a leader and designer, she oversees and manages the strategic direction and day-to-day execution of the marketing design department at Metal Toad. As the engineering company’s creative visionary, she leads the design department in their mission to unite audience-focused strategic design with meaningful experiences and business value.

Offering a diverse skillset, she's adept at assessing the real “ask”, strategizing solutions, and motivating teams to deliver exceptional work. Yet Corinna considers her role to be about so much more — it’s about being a driven, empathetic, and positive leader who invests in her team, creates focus and alignment, and gets things DONE.

In all endeavors, she brings a passion for adaptability and learning, keen visual skills, and due diligence from concept through completion.

When not leading or designing, you can find her exploring the Oregon coast and local farmer’s markets, running, doing yoga, curling up with a great book, sculpting, or cooking for an impromptu dinner party.

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