Inside our first-ever Slackathon at Frontiers 2019

We challenged more than 100 developers to build an end-to-end solution for Slack that covers the entire user experience

slackathon frontiers 2019 hero
Image Credit: Claudine Gossett

Emoji upvoting, error logging and home-remodeling help: These were just a handful of the luminous ideas Frontiers participants dreamed up during our inaugural Slackathon.

The challenge? Create an end-to-end solution for Slack that covers the entire user experience. The rules? Leverage lessons learned at Frontiers 2019 in San Francisco to build an original solution driven by a real-world problem.

It didn’t matter whether our ingenious participants prototyped with paper or PHP—we required only creativity and a positive attitude. More than 100 people participated, representing a cross section of industries including finance, air travel and AI. We gave ’em three hours to break into teams and put their skills to the test.

The winning team scored sweet swag, including an iPad Mini and a pair of ever-coveted Slack socks with our vintage logo. Here’s how it all went down.

slackathon frontiers 2019 san francisco learning

Slackathoners assemble! More than 100 participants broke into 15 teams to compete for glory and Slack socks.

Participants were tasked with building something new, inspired by the demos and discussions that took place in our Curiosity track, a program we designed especially for developers attending Frontiers.

slackathon frontiers 2019 participants working

A participant (center) from OMFGCO, a Portland, Oregon–based design agency, teamed up with Slack engineers to tackle home-improvement projects. The proposed prototype would help people in the thick of remodeling projects communicate with contractors and subcontractors via Slack.

slackathon frontiers 2019 contestants building

Engineers from American Airlines brainstormed a seamless solution for making the most of their employee benefits.

slackathon frontiers 2019 san francisco participants building

Slackathon participants drew upon reserves of strength, dedication and focus to take them across the finish line before the first round of judging.

slackathon frontiers 2019 judges observing

After jamming hard for nearly three hours, our valiant participants met the judges. Professionals from our platform team strolled the venue science-fair-style and scoped out the prototypes.

slackathon frontiers judges approve final round

Five teams made it to the final round. Their solutions addressed a range of problems—from emoji overload management to airline employee benefits to a user-friendly way to organize GitHub conversations.

slackathon frontiers 2019 final round participants

The finalists represented American Airlines, Capital One, Treehoppr and Toast.

slackathon frontiers 2019 capital one winners

After much debate among the judges, Capital One took home the gold—the iPad Mini and swag, that is. The team’s app offered a way for groups to manage and collectively approve new emoji via upvoting.

“We want to empower our users to upload emojis because they have both a functional purpose and a community purpose,” said Connor Anderson, the team’s spokesperson. “With this tool, we take that community purpose even further.”

The Slackathon was an opportunity to show off design and coding chops. But more important, it was an opportunity to workshop ideas and play within the Slack community. Several participants told us they planned to keep developing—and implement—their prototypes.

If you missed this Slackathon, fret not! This was just the first of many, and we hope to jam with you at our next event.

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