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Mercari Hack Week: the time to focus on making new things! #MercariHackWeek #MercariDays

Hi everyone! This is Mayumine from the Brand Management Team.

We recently held Mercari Hack Week, a technology hackathon for engineers celebrated from March 23th–27th. This time, it was held completely online and everyone participated from home.

This is how the online participation looked on Demo Day.
Teams made their presentation by sharing their screen over hangouts, and participants commented and interacted with each other on a Slack channel.

During Hack Week, engineers were able to take a break from product development, and dedicate their time to developing whatever they wanted in a team of their choice.

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This year’s Hack Week had great results:163 participants, 124 new ideas, and 25 Demo Day announcements!

Demo Day, where teams make the final presentation of each project, was also held completely online, so each team presented their project from home.
And one week after this exciting Demo Day…the winners were announced at our All Hands meeting!
In this article, I would like to present the winning projects.

Gold Award: Project IE

Project IE is a development proposal to create new features to make Mercari easier to use. During Hack Week, teams worked on developing various practical features, using an approach that extracts information using natural language processing technology in order to quickly identify information about items.

Congratulations to the winners of the Go Bold Award: @masaki.haga, @furufuru, @keizo042, and @y-wada!

Message from Mercari CTO @suguru

The results of this project are better than expected. It’s hard to believe it was completed in only one week! This project explores what our users are looking for right now, promoting the spirit of “focusing on the customer” and reminding us that engineering-driven product development is also very valuable.
The quality of the UI, the degree of perfection in the features, and the overall focus are all good enough that this could be implemented in the product right now.
It reminded me of the need to give engineers more chances to take the lead in development.

Message from winner @masaki.haga

I was really surprised to hear we won. What I did this time came from various ideas I had in mind before. This year Mercari’s development organization moved to a camp structure, so I made use of the advantages of working under this environment to try and put all those ideas in practice. The members of my team were all really professional, and we had a lot of fun discussing what we could do and what kind of improvements were possible.

Silver Award: Barcode Sell on Web

The Silver Award was for implementing barcode listing on Mercari Web.
Taking advantage of the fact that the web can be browsed without logging in, they also tried implementing a feature called “search by barcode” that’s not available in the app yet.

Congratulations @mkazutaka!

Comment from Mercari JP CEO @tamosan

I think Mercari Web has great potential. This feature really captures what users want, and personally I was also looking for something like this. I’m really looking forward to seeing if it can be implemented next quarter!

Bronze Award: Mercari by SwiftUI

This is a project to rewrite the Mercari app using SwiftUI and Combine, which are frameworks provided by Apple. As a result, we found the amount of code decreased and productivity increased.

Comment from Engineering Director @kwakasa

The implementation and UI of the Mercari app’s key features, such as the timeline, item details, and listing, are finished to such high quality that it’s hard to imagine it was done in only one week. They demonstrated the high productivity of development using the FRP-based Declarative UI library that Swift UI is known for. This project is also significant in that it has shown the path and proved the necessity of the upcoming app redesign project.

Congratulations to @gentle, @andysaw, @Kaz_H, @koko, @Ashish, and @kagemiku!

Bronze Award: Lets recreate Mercari using Flutter

The second Bronze Award was given to a project to rebuild the Mercari app with Google’s open-source mobile application framework Flutter, which enables multi-platform development for iOS, Android, web, and desktop. The team seemed to have a lot of fun and enjoyed the process of making it.

Comment from VP of Backend @stanaka

It was impressive that Flutter enabled them to create for not only iOS/Android, but also MacOS and the web.
The fact that we were able to build this much in a week, demonstrating the potential of deploying on many platforms, makes me believe in the possibility of using Flutter for other ideas as well.

Congratulations to @damian, @Tomato, @Stefan_droid, and @Joshi!

R4D Award: Mercari AR Camera

The winner of this award, @allan.conda, also won the CEO Award at the last Hack Week. This time, he combined the brand detection function of the Google Cloud Vision Logo Detection API with AR, and developed four AR Camera features using Android’s ARCore.

*Credit:Google Pixel scan by QlonebyRonen Horovitz.Television,Rubik’s Cubeby Poly by Google. licensed underCC BY 3.0.
 

Congratulations on winning awards at Hack Week two times in a row!

The implementation and UI of the Mercari app’s key features, such as the timeline, item details, and listing, are finished to such high quality that it’s hard to imagine it was done in only one week. They demonstrated the high productivity of development using the FRP-based Declarative UI library that Swift UI is known for. This project is also significant in that it has shown the path and proved the necessity of the upcoming app redesign project.

Comments from the R4D team

It was a good demonstration of what xR could bring to the app in general.
He went above and beyond, proposing 4 different demos.
With a bit more long-term thinking, this could become a R4D theme.

In addition, we have the following projects and team members, who were not able to win any of the top three awards, but received the Judge’s Choice Award for their dedication and hard work.

Congratulations!

A final message from Mercari CTO @suguru:

When we first planned Hack Week, we weren’t expecting such great results; we even considered postponing it due to the work from home situation. I was worried that working remotely would make it difficult for teams to present their ideas or even just develop them as a team. However, despite the difficulties and thanks to everyone’s collaboration, the quality of the projects was even higher than last time, so I feel very proud. Mercari’s engineers were able to display their creativity and create interesting proposals in a week. I wish we could keep the Hack Week spirit all the time! I can’t wait to see what ideas everyone comes up with the next Hack Week in six months!

Overcoming the adversity of working from home, the second Mercari Hack Week was a great success! See you for more news in the next #MercariDays!

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