Timeless Thoughts: Skills Lab
Timeless Thoughts is a monthly linkup hosted by Georgie and Tara, where bloggers write about something from their past – it could be an item, a place, an event – anything that evokes a trip down memory lane. Timeless Thoughts is held on the first Saturday of the month, and runs for two weeks.
A couple of years ago I was working for a different company. We had a company hackathon, and I think it was the only hackathon I put a lot of effort into… during a hackathon you are generally allowed to build whatever you want (to a theme) but a lot of people used the day as an excuse to bum around.
I was in a team with two designers, a marketer, and, well, Nicholas. 😅
At that point in time, nobody – not even ourselves – knew that we liked each other. Like, liked each other.
All I remember is that Nick and I had a lot of chats over breakfast and I didn’t have a hackathon team at first, but we had the idea of redoing the “exams” section of the website. The exams section was a section where you could take exams to show badges on your profile to represent certain skills. It was just gamification, like a lot of apps use. In all honesty, the exam questions were pretty shit, but the overall user experience was just horrible.
As a team we figured out a way to clean up the design and make the exams more appealing. One of our designers came up with the name “Skills Lab”. It was perfect, and it sounded hip.
We had a really nice graphic to go on the main page, which I remember adoring the hell out of. It was just an illustration of a brain, but it was a very colourful one, and it just fitted Skills Lab so well.
On the night of the hackathon, Lilian had a celebratory dinner because she officially became a lawyer. 👩🏻💼 I was very proud and there was no way I was going to miss her dinner, so I ducked out of the hackathon for a couple of hours.
I actually can’t remember who did the presentation. I think it was Nick. I was so excited because I was thinking, here we are overhauling an important but forgotten part of the product. It was going to make a huge difference and I think other people in the company were going to love it.
When it was time to vote, I’m not going to lie, we voted for ourselves. But then again, I’m pretty sure everyone votes for themselves in things, to up their chances. Unless, of course, you’re not allowed.
I can’t remember if I shared it on my blog, but – we won! 💰 We tied with another team though, which was kind of annoying, because of course we thought we did better than them. It wasn’t really fair that the grand prize had to be shared, they should have done something to prevent two teams from receiving the same score. But yes, we got extra money on the next pay day.
Skills Lab doesn’t currently exist in the same state it was when we deployed it, and for various reasons I don’t want to link to it either. But when I look back, it was such a wonderful achievement.
💖 The story in my post I recall the exact moment I fell in love. occurred around the time of this hackthon.
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