Zillow Wraps Up Hackweek 6

Two times a year, employees from Zillow's offices are encouraged to take time out from their daily responsibilities to execute on ideas they have been contemplating.

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Look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane — no, it’s senior developer Kris Lion showing his hidden talents.

Paid to think outside the box and then really go outside the box? No need to do your real job while you pursue an idea that will benefit the company? That’s right.

Welcome to Zillow’s Hackweek, now at No. 6. Two times a year, employees from Zillow’s offices (Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Irvine, CA and Lincoln, NE) are encouraged to take time out from their daily responsibilities to execute on ideas they have been contemplating. Small groups form, and they spend an entire week hacking away on design and development, bringing the idea to life.

Projects run the gamut — from great new ideas for consumers and professionals for the Web and mobile, to back-end tools that help improve internal operations. Hackweek culminates in a presentation day where groups have 2 minutes to articulate their ideas, the benefits and the development cycle.

During Hackweek 6, 60 projects were judged by a panel consisting of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, ZIllow Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Wacksman and Zillow Chief Revenue Officer Greg Schwartz. Prize categories include Judges’ Choice Best Feature, People’s Choice Best Feature and People’s Choice Best Process Improvement/Internal Tools. While we can’t reveal which projects took the prizes, you can be sure that several of them will make their way into development.

Below are some photos taken by senior program manager Adam Cohn, capturing the mood of Hackweek, including presentation day. Like what you see? Think you want to be part of Zillow? Check out our jobs page where we have openings in business, sales and technology.

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Jeff Copeland and Alessandra Arendt work the dreaded flow chart.
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Chief Technology Officer David Beitel
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Hallway discussion between senior programmer Eugene Aleynikov (left) and senior developer Jason Gurney.
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Zillowites listen to Hackweek presentations.
Amy Grimm (yellow sweater), Marcus Wu and Carol Lin prepare for their moment of truth.
Facilities coordinator Wylie Bush keeps the troops happy with a nice supply of pizza.
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Senior developer Kris Lion presents his Hackweek idea.
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Senior UX designer Eric Tucker and Investor Relations manager Maria Seredina review their presentation.
Kris Lion and Eric Tucker experiment with their drone.
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Thumbs-up from inside sales consultant Michael DeBois.
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Senior manager Brent Downey fortifies with Gatorade.
Inside sales consultant Eric Goodman sees positive results.
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Project analyst Anne Talbot (left) and visual designer Alessandra Arendt team up.
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Technician Jason Tracey likes what he sees.
Economist Krishna Rao (left) and senior PM Srinivas Paluri confer by the dashboard light.
Mortech PM Josh Lang and Senior UX developer Brian Stone build a Zillow pyramid out of Legos.

Photos: Adam Cohn