In December 2022, we hosted our annual Hack Week. Throughout this week, Robloxians put our values into motion by pursuing tasks that drive speedy innovation. This was our largest annual self-organized occasion to this point, with over 400 workers throughout 225 groups competing for a spot within the high three in every of 4 classes.
Unleashing Curiosity and Driving Innovation for Our Platform
Hack Week takes place throughout our annual code freeze, which provides everybody throughout Roblox time to pursue a various set of tasks. We take no matter has piqued our curiosity all year long and act on it. A number of previous tasks have gone on to turn out to be fully-implemented merchandise or options on the platform.
So, what’s the key to lining up an superior Hack Week challenge? It’s all about taking massive dangers and asking massive questions. “We’re speaking about reimagining the best way folks come collectively,” shares Dave Baszucki, Founder & CEO. “We’re speaking concerning the evolution of communication expertise, all the best way from cellphone to video to immersive 3D. I feel one of many greatest issues that this week does is validate our imaginative and prescient. It’s not 20 years away. It’s one thing that we’re making progress on yearly. Hack Week is the final word definition of innovation at scale.”
This 12 months, tasks reached all elements of the platform and technical stack. Listed below are a few of this 12 months’s tasks to point out the breadth of what groups labored on:
- Supporting dwell performances in Roblox with the creation of an open-source plugin that permits streaming of audio and movement seize information to drive avatars within the expertise.
- A picture filter part that can enable our builders to govern their pictures so their experiences have a particular type.
- A framework to carry out frequent debugging and testing actions that can be accessible on all shopper platforms.
- A dashboard to research the official Creator Documentation and supply details about find out how to enhance its protection and high quality.
Including a New Degree of Competitors
“Hack Week is unquestionably not per week off. It’s a week on for the people who find themselves collaborating,” says Claus Moberg, VP of Engineering and Hack Week organizer. “We work arduous at Roblox, however this can be the toughest that any individual works all 12 months. You will have a really brief time interval to get your challenge completed. And it’s aggressive.”
In previous years, senior leaders evaluated and hand-selected tasks that had been notably revolutionary to share out with all the firm. This 12 months, we developed a judging and scoring course of to establish the very best of the very best. Throughout registration, groups chosen one of many 4 firm values for his or her tasks, which additionally decided the judging classes. To submit, groups created a three-minute-long video that showcased their work. A panel of over a dozen judges – senior leaders from throughout Roblox – evaluated every submission, narrowing down the tasks to finalists. On the 12 months’s final City Corridor, the finalists introduced, answered questions, after which awaited ultimate placements.
As one of many judges, Claus appeared for a few attributes in every challenge. “I’m actually excited to see every thing from huge long-term innovation to near-term tactical options. Total, I’m in search of tasks that talk to our core firm values and have affect on our customers, workers, and on Roblox as a complete.”
Hack Week closed with an awards celebration the place the finalists discovered about their placements of their respective classes and claimed their Hack Week trophies. Stef Corazza, Head of Studio Engineering – Creator, was a member of the crew that took residence the 2nd place trophy within the Take the Lengthy View class. His crew’s challenge centered round bringing dwell performances to Roblox. Whereas profitable was nice, his favourite half about Hack Week was, “… actually concerning the crew and the way we got here collectively. All six of us had completely different talent units with very completely different backgrounds.”
Two highlights caught out for first place winners of the We’re Accountable class Kevin Koleckar and Nicholas Choi. “Attending to collaborate with somebody that I’m not normally collaborating with was my favourite half,” says Kevin. “Nick and I’ve been on the identical crew prior to now, however over the past 12 months, we’ve labored on various things. Hack Week gave us the prospect to come back again and work on one thing collectively.”
For Nick, Hack Week created area to pursue one thing he’s been enthusiastic about. “Our challenge has been one thing I’ve been interested by doing for a very very long time, so it was simply actually thrilling to see it come to fruition.”
In line with Claus, it’s not all about profitable. “There are such a lot of tasks which can be unbelievable and that actually are the way forward for the platform. The entire work that folks have put in is being acknowledged by leaders on the firm and goes to be shared with the groups which can be accountable for these areas. Each single challenge has the potential to tell how our product is constructed shifting ahead.”
Claus continues, “Hack Week at Roblox is admittedly core to our tradition of innovation. Yearly, we see tasks that blow our minds. The best way our groups assault these massive questions and discover options to issues no person has constructed earlier than… Hack Week is likely one of the best examples of Roblox’s method to innovation.”
Try a spotlight reel of the profitable groups and their tasks: