Mattermost and Jitsi launch a joint hackathon

Hacking from home: Thriving in a remote environment

With the acceleration of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s even more urgency for teams to adapt to solutions that give them the ability to work remotely and asynchronously in distributed environments. 

A Gartner Survey from July 2020 revealed that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time—most likely in a hybrid environment. And nearly half said they will allow employees to work fully remotely full time in the future. 

But work isn’t the only thing impacted; education is another example where distance learning and hybrid environments with alternating in-person and virtual classes have become a norm throughout the world.

It is therefore not a question of whether remote environments are here to stay—but rather, whether we can bring the same elements in-person interaction has to the virtual world, along with the benefits that remote environments provide through increased flexibility, autonomy, and productivity.

Bringing open source communities together to build amazing solutions

Mattermost and Jitsi have all been remote-friendly companies for years. Both have seen how organizations have struggled to first transition to remote environments and then try to thrive in those circumstances.

We wanted to find a way to bring all our communities together to solve this immediate problem that is affecting millions of people around the world. After brainstorming different ideas, a hackathon felt like the perfect option, given that hackathons: 

  • Gather people together to collaborate on time-sensitive but complex issues
  • Bring fresh perspectives to business problems and new ideas for tools and products
  • Stimulate creativity and problem solving among developers

Over the last four months, our teams have worked together to plan for a thrilling virtual event.

Launching a hackathon: November 10–17

Today, we are announcing a hackathon to bring all these open source communities together, and to create new solutions for thriving in a remote environment.

Participate during November 10–17, 2020, and win up to $6,000 in cash prizes along with exclusive Mattermost and Jitsi merchandise!

Three sample challenges for inspiration include:

1. Supporting hybrid environments

How can we better support hybrid environments where some staff work in the office and others work remotely? What tools can be used to ensure those who work remotely are not left out of conversations or decision-making that takes place within physical office space?

2. Promoting social interaction

How can we promote social interaction to reduce isolation in a remote work environment—which is often the #1 challenge faced when working from home? What tools or programs can help build connections remotely, such as water cooler/hallway talks, coffee time, or fun “after-work” activities like trivia and micro-game sessions?

3. Reimagining company handbooks

How can we make handbooks easier to create and update—guides for the operations, processes and norms for running the company? What tools or scripts could be used for that purpose? For a better idea about what handbooks like like, check out the Mattermost Handbook.

Ready to get started?

Everyone is welcome! Visit the Hackathon page to register and learn more.

Together, let’s make remote environments better for everyone!

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Jason Blais

Jason Blais is a Lead Product Manager at Mattermost, Inc. Prior to joining Mattermost, Jason served as a product manager and analytics manager for SpinPunch, a Y Combinator-backed online gaming startup. Jason has also provided statistical consultation at Stanford University. He is a University of Waterloo alumnus.

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