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Big Company Hacks at Yahoo!

Chad Dickerson, Sr. Director, Yahoo! Developer Network, Yahoo!.

Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 11:35am - 12:00pm
Location: Douglas BC

Hacking software and hardware can be challenging at times, but the rewards for breakthrough moments are huge. The same goes for hacking companies, which have their own cultural "software" and facilities "hardware" to dig into. For just over a year, Yahoo! has been hacking itself with its internal Hack Yahoo! program, turning "mashup or shutup" into an engineering rallying cry across the globe at the company. The Hack Yahoo! program encourages the pursuit of self-directed personal projects by Yahoo! engineers, projects that are not subject to prior review by anyone -- all by design.

The success of the Hack Yahoo! program has been driven largely by the regular Hack Day events in offices around the world. At the internal Yahoo! Hack Days, engineers own the spotlight as they showcase their personal projects to their peers and top Yahoo! executives in a rapid-fire format that is always full of delightful surprises.

In September, Yahoo! opened up its campus to rock star hackers -- and one actual rock star -- for a mega-successful open Yahoo! Hack Day that introduced major new capabilities from the Yahoo! Developer Network for outside developers to hack on with the same free-wheeling spirit as the internal Hack Days.

In this talk, you'll learn what it takes to successfully hack your own company to make an event like Hack Day happen, including building the best wireless network in the world for visiting hackers; turning a nondescript space in front of the company gym into a major rock venue; making sure the automatic sprinklers are turned off for the campers on the lawn; and generally what it takes to embrace, encourage, and celebrate the unexpected in a corporate environment.