In December 2022, we hosted our annual Hack Week. Throughout this week, Robloxians put our values into motion by pursuing initiatives that drive speedy innovation. This was our largest annual self-organized occasion up to now, with over 400 staff throughout 225 groups competing for a spot within the prime 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 initiatives. We take no matter has piqued our curiosity all year long and act on it. A number of previous initiatives have gone on to turn into fully-implemented merchandise or options on the platform. 

Participant explains her project to CEO & CMO

So, what’s the key to lining up an superior Hack Week mission? It’s all about taking massive dangers and asking massive questions. “We’re speaking about reimagining the best way individuals come collectively,” shares Dave Baszucki, Founder & CEO. “We’re speaking concerning the evolution of communication expertise, all the best way from telephone 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, initiatives reached all components of the platform and technical stack. Listed below are a few of this 12 months’s initiatives to point out the breadth of what groups labored on:

  • Supporting stay performances in Roblox with the creation of an open-source plugin that permits streaming of audio and movement seize knowledge to drive avatars within the expertise. 
  • A picture filter part that can enable our builders to control their photos so their experiences have a particular type. 
  • A framework to carry out frequent debugging and testing actions that will likely be accessible on all consumer platforms.
  • A dashboard to research the official Creator Documentation and supply details about the best way to enhance its protection and high quality.

Participants speaking with CEO about project

Including a New Degree of Competitors

“Hack Week is certainly not per week off. It’s a week on for the people who find themselves taking part,” says Claus Moberg, VP of Engineering and Hack Week organizer. “We work exhausting at Roblox, however this can be the toughest that anyone works all 12 months. You could have a really brief time interval to get your mission completed. And it’s aggressive.” 

Judges watch participant presentations

In previous years, senior leaders evaluated and hand-selected initiatives that had been significantly progressive to share out with your complete firm. This 12 months, we developed a judging and scoring course of to establish the most effective of the most effective. Throughout registration, groups chosen one of many 4 firm values for his or her initiatives, 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 initiatives to finalists. On the 12 months’s final City Corridor, the finalists offered, answered questions, after which awaited ultimate placements. 

As one of many judges, Claus seemed for a few attributes in every mission. “I’m actually excited to see every little thing from large long-term innovation to near-term tactical options. Total, I’m on the lookout for initiatives that talk to our core firm values and have affect on our customers, staff, and on Roblox as a complete.”

The Winners

Winners pose with their trophies at the Award Ceremony

Hack Week closed with an awards celebration the place the finalists realized 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 mission centered round bringing stay performances to Roblox. Whereas successful 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 totally different talent units with very totally 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 previously, however during the last 12 months, we’ve labored on various things. Hack Week gave us the possibility to return again and work on one thing collectively.”

For Nick, Hack Week created area to pursue one thing he’s been fascinated about. “Our mission has been one thing I’ve been desirous about doing for a extremely very long time, so it was simply actually thrilling to see it come to fruition.”

Based on Claus, it’s not all about successful. “There are such a lot of initiatives which are unimaginable and that basically 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 are chargeable for these areas. Each single mission 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 initiatives that blow our minds. The way in which our groups assault these massive questions and discover options to issues no person has constructed earlier than… Hack Week is without doubt one of the best examples of Roblox’s method to innovation.”

Take a look at a spotlight reel of the successful groups and their initiatives:

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