Category : Culture , Hackathon

HackDay 2.0 —A log of the  24 hour Hackathon

HackDay 2.0 —A log of the  24 hour Hackathon

What a draining yet invigorating last 2 days we had at Heptagon’s HQ in Coimbatore.

Last year when we organized the first version of HackDay, a 24-hour company-wide hackathon we were a small team (40) split into 4 different teams that ideated and hacked for 24 hours straight with just raw passion and bucket loads of coffee.

The visible outcome when we look back is that one of the ideas, Ara- The Digital Receptionist went on to become a full-fledged product and have added more variety to our product portfolio. The invisible outcome was that it introduced our culture to us and the kind of company we were building together.

#HackDay — An event that introduced our culture to us!

HackDay 2.0

Most sequels fail. The biggest reason for that failure is the focus on making it bigger and better and letting go of the fundamentals. We had no intention of making #HepHackSe02 bigger and better just for the sake of it but we asked the most fundamental question. 

How do we create value to our clients better?

We looked at our product suite and the project portfolio and asked ourselves how do we add value to these existing suite of products or how do we solve our client’s problems better. This opened up a vast array of thoughts and avenues. To prioritize and make sense of these questions we assigned mentors to every team and began ideating ground up with a clear goal of creating value.

Context:

Teams

Team #1: Misfits 
Product Name: Focus
Description: #VideoAnalytics based Attendance/Authorisation System

Team Misfits -Heptagon Hackday 2.0 - Winners

Team #2: Yottabyte 
Product Name: Converse
Description: Voice first #BusinessIntelligence Assistant

Team -Yottabyte - Heptagon Hackday 2.0 - Winners

Team #3: HackSlash
Product Name: Offiz
Description: Operating System for modern day workspace

Team - HackSlash - Heptagon Technologies Hackday 2.0

Team #4: Neusis
Product Name: AssetzChain
Description: #Blockchain (#Ethereum) based Asset Management Platform.

Team - Neusis - Heptagon Hackathon

Team #5: Pegasus
Product Name: iGro
Description: Continuous Growth Assessment Platform

Team Pegasus - Heptagon Hackday 2.0

Team #6: Reboot
Product Name: GoFer
Description: Online Experiences for the Offline World

Team Reboot - Heptagon Hackday Event

Judges

This year’s highlight was the panel of Judges and their inspiring words.

Judge 1: Mr. Ajit Isaac — Chairman & M.D. of Quess Corp.

Judge 2: Mr. Guruprasad Srinivasan — President & C.E.O — Global Business Services — Quess Corp.

Judge 3: Mr. Manoj Kulgod — Chief Digital Officer — Quess Corp.


Winners

Though every team’s technology prowess was indistinguishable the  business potential of certain products were far greater an d clearly evident that made the judges select two teams as the winners.

Team Yottabyte & Team MisFits


Here is what The Hindu Business Line had to say about our event:

What Next?

While the team is already focussed on productizing the solutions, we are mulling over Hackday‘s next season. We have a few

  1. Client-specific Hackathons — We have been asked by our clients to conduct such Hackdays focussed on their problems as they see accelerated solution making and the will of the team to solve problems faster and better.
  2. Open Hackdays— With Coimbatore becoming a niche tech market in India we might open up #Hephack to other companies and focus on bigger societal problems.

We are excited about the prospects of HackDay‘s future and to stay in the loop, do subscribe to our blog.

Category : Culture , Heptalk

Women’s Day — The Heptagon Way

Women’s Day — The Heptagon Way

How do you celebrate women’s day the right way? Is it about just passing customary greetings and putting women on a pedestal just for one day? We at Heptagon asked ourselves that and we decided to let the incredible women at Heptagon take the floor and while the rest of us, the men, attentively listened.

Our women spoke about their dreams, their hopes, their fears, their challenges, some even challenged the need for having a day to celebrate women. Does that mean other days aren’t our days? she sharply questioned.

What could have been a gift-giving ceremony like in most offices was turning out to be something different and we were awestruck by their stories, their sacrifice, their journeys and most of all their honesty. We left the room with misty eyes and a clear head. We understood a bit more about our women colleagues but a lot more about ourselves.

At Heptagon, we believe in the equality irrespective of gender, age, color or race and we can’t wait to see all of these women shine brighter in leadership roles not within our company but in the larger world!

Cheers to our incredible women. We are truly blessed and proud to have you all around!

Thank you!

Team Heptagon

Category : Culture , Heptalk

Heptagon — Core Values

Heptagon — Core Values

As we are poised to grow, we are making sure that our foundation is strong enough to hold the growth rate yet nimble enough to adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape. One such foundation parameter is the values of the company.

In the most literal sense, values are the moral pointers that help us differentiate good from bad. They form the foundational qualities from which we may not waver irrespective of the situations. We believe in deriving values rather than setting values.

So at Heptagon, we have observed our culture evolve for the past two years, collected everyone’s perspective on their / our values and distilled our core values as below.

PASSION: We obsess over the little details and craft solutions that we are proud of.

Passion - Heptagon Core Values

 

OPENNESS: We welcome people, perspectives and ideas with an open mind.

Openness - Heptagon Core Values

 

TEAMWORK: We celebrate collaboration and unite individual sparks into a collective flame.

Teamwork - Heptagon Core Values

 

GROWTH: We pursue growth as individuals, by pushing boundaries of what is possible.

Growth - Heptagon Core Values

We stand by our values and it exudes in everything we do. The modules of code we write, the user experiences we design, the functionalities we test, the sales pitches we use to solve a customer’s problem, the creative ideas we use to market our products and services, the people we hire and the strategies we use to grow.

We are driven by our values!

#Heptagon #CoreValues

Category : Culture , Hackathon

#HackDay — An event that introduced our culture to us!

#HackDay — An event that introduced our culture to us!

When Mr. Vineet Nayar was entrusted with turning around HCL in 2005, he quickly realised that HCL’s culture was the biggest impediment to its growth. The BD and Sales team was never confident enough to even bid for big projects that Infosys and TCS was bidding. He realised this “losing attitude” has seeped through all the organisational crevices and the only way to change the company is to change it from within. He hand-picked a small team of 30 people and name them “young sparks”. They were tasked with coming out with a strategy to revive HCL from within. Thus the “Employee First, Customer Second” mantra was formed and then he went on to implement multiple small projects to make that mantra a reality and thus HCL’s turnaround was drafted. In the span of 8 years (2005–2013) that Nayar was in charge, HCL leapfrogged from $764 million to $4.7 Billion in revenue and grew to an employee strength of 85,000. This is a turn around story of a multi national that had resources and time to try out multiple pet projects to fix its culture and thereby transform itself.

But as a startup you don’t have the luxury to set aside a 30 member team to set and fix the company’s culture. Like most things in a startup, culture evolves and sometimes the team sets the culture through its action and this post is an attempt to derive learnings out of such behaviours and actions and define our culture.

At Heptagon, few weeks back, a 24-hour intra-company Hackathon was announced. 4 cross-functional teams were formed and were asked to choose a mentor through lots. As soon as the teams were formed, they started the ideation process post office hours and each team submitted a proposal that was vetted and nudged in the right direction by the mentors they chose.

What transpired over the 24 hour Hackathon was a window for us to peek into the culture that the company has been nurturing on its own.

Context:

  1. Priya, who heads the testing team in Heptagon is also the wife of Vijay(C.E.O.) was at the office for the entire Hackathon just like everybody else. This was the first time Anjana (5 year old kid of Vijay & Priya) stayed away from her parents because both Vijay and Priya wanted to stay honest to the Hackathon format. A fresher who joined us few months back felt home sick because this event was the first time she was staying out of her home the entire night. When she was asked if she wanted to go home, her response was “No! Let me sleep for 20 minutes and I will be fine, I don’t wanna let my team down”. She wanted to stay true to her team mates much like Vijay & Priya. Vignesh, who is the C.T.O. stayed up the entire night along with his team to crack the logic behind a Robotic Process Automation which will be the engine for automated hiring. All these incidents drive home one particular value which is, honesty.

#Hackday Night — 1 AM

2. When the Hackathon got over, someone tapped on my shoulder and asked “Sam, you are an employee right? Why were you mentoring a team and why were you at the dias with the three Founders and 2 Chief Guests?” I did not have an answer to that then and don’t have an answer now. But it shows the level of humility that the founders have to trust an employee and give him equal rights. I have seen this humility have a ripple effect on everybody. Our A.V.P. of Technology doesn’t walk around with an aura of “know-it-all” in fact he is glued to his seat all day even during lunch hours because if he falters the projects could over shoot its schedule and cost. Our Design Head engages the new designer all day to get the work done and keep re-iterating that tools don’t matter as long as you have an eye for form that would complement the function. Rajesh, who is the C.O.O. comes to office at 8:30 AM everyday to open the office door for the cleaners to clean the office. I can quote infinite events such as these and what we will see is humility at its raw form. Formal titles have little meaning in our company as everyone is treated at par and that emanates from the inherent humility.

3. Though we had two separate conference rooms allotted for people to go and take power naps most were not willing to do that because they were worried they won’t be able to finish the prototype on time for the demo. Even people who were not actively involved in coding or designing or testing or preparing the presentation deck stuck around and made sure everyone was happy. An impromptu “Hep TV” was formed and our HR manager became the cameraman while our General Sales Manager wielded the microphone to ask people about their experience and quipped with witty one-liners to keep the melatonin at bay. Sheena, our Accounts Executive was busy co-ordinating with the food and coffee/tea delivery guys to make sure everyone was well fed and fit enough to sit through the 24 hours. The above incidents make me realise that hard work is in our gene and that’s what is gonna take us big strides in the future

Not sure who wrote this, but this is the board that welcomes our team in the main development area.

Thus I can squeeze down the learnings and extract three core values that define us — Honesty, Humility and Hard Work. Academics reckon that a company’s values should be weaved into its cultural fabric but in our case Honesty, Humility and Hard-work are the threads that make our cultural fabric and we just figured that out through a rinse session like the #Hackday.

We are not a jazzy startup with millions in funding, we are not a startup run by people from the IVY leagues and hence we don’t have / get a coverage on fancy magazines and newspapers but we stand as a single unit that is built on our humility, honesty and hard-work with a single purpose which is to create innovative technology solutions for customers on-time and on budget.

We took a tiny step towards creating an innovative work environment but it has been a giant leap for us in terms of learnings and more importantly it has brought us all together as a team though we are spread across different cities. This is a team that has formed, stormed, normed and evolved itself and this is a team I can take a bullet for!

Explore the projects our team cam up with during the Hackathon

Want to be a part of this team? please drop a mail to careers@heptagon.in