A few times per year ZoomInfo holds TechFest, a two day period for the engineering team to collaborate on mini projects with few constraints. During this time the engineers are encouraged to have fun and experiment. In fact, the only rule is there are no good or bad ideas.
Here’s how TechFest works at ZoomInfo:
Before the start of TechFest, the engineering team brainstorms a list of topics on a whiteboard. Everyone then breaks off into small groups to build their ideas out.
Each group is given two days to come up with a working code, as well as wiki page with the project description.
At the end of TechFest, each group presents the results to the rest of the engineering team and then summarizes their projects for the executive team.
“As one of the managers, it’s my job to set up some ground rules, and help with any problems that come up during TechFest,” said Peter Sparks, ZoomInfo’s Data & NLP Architect. “After two days, we want to see that something either works or does not work. This is a huge benefit for ZoomInfo. As a result, we can prioritize something that might not otherwise have been on the roadmap.”
In the four years since ZoomInfo’s first TechFest, our engineers have implemented and deployed a number of these ideas into our production code.
“At ZoomInfo, we rely on innovation,” said Eugenia Gillan, Vice President of Engineering at ZoomInfo. “We recognize that in order to improve our technology, the engineering team sometimes needs a break from their day-to-day projects. TechFest provides an opportunity for our engineers to impact our customers’ experiences, as well as the company’s ROI.”
Are you interested in a career in engineering? ZoomInfo is hiring! Check out our open positions and apply here.