Bird’s First Annual Hackathon

Bird’s custom-designed and engineered vehicles are industry leaders poised to change the future of micro-mobility. Every element is engineered around the comfort and safety of our riders, putting the vehicle through rigorous testing to verify its safety and durability in all environments. We’re constantly innovating to bring our riders the most efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation experience. And we’re not done yet…

Bird recently hosted our first annual Hackathon. More than 20 teams comprised of our firmware, hardware, and software engineers, as well as members of the product and design teams participated, bringing together some of the most incredible talents in the industry. These teams worked side by side as they built new features and products that we’ve only dreamt about as well as ones that had yet to even be imagined.

We caught up with Bird’s Chief Technology Officer, Justin Balthrop to learn more about this event.

What were the overarching goals of the Hackathon?

Bird started with a small group of engineers hacking together in a room. While our team is significantly bigger today, we wanted to get back to our roots and collaborate on projects outside of our normal focus.

How were the teams divided and why?

Teams were 100% self-organized. Engineers recruited people by sharing their ideas and finding the right mix of people to help build them. This was also a great exercise in building quick, high functioning teams.

What surprised you the most throughout the event?

The projects were very diverse, but most of the ideas were exploring the intersection of hardware and software. There’s a magic that happens when hardware and software work together seamlessly, and people seemed to gravitate towards this. It was really difficult to pick the winners. Bird has an incredible set of talented individuals, and the number of creative, high-quality projects people built in two days was astonishing.

Were there themes you found to be particularly prevalent, similar to the skill sets or past experiences you look for in engineers at Bird?

  1. Passion for our mission.

  2. Persistent determination when solving hard problems.

Can you tell us anything from the inside? Insider secrets or hint at any exciting features to come? 🙂

Unfortunately, some of the best-kept secrets are secrets for a reason. Stay tuned for some exciting innovation coming from Team Bird and in the meantime, don’t forget to #EnjoyTheRide.