The number one reason Chartbeat is as awesome as it is? We exclusively hire awesome people. And the backbone of our awesome resides in our team of engineers.
When you hire world-class engineers, you need to give them freedom to build and create. Some people think that’s a scary challenge. We don’t. Because we’ve developed a unique and crazy successful solution.
It’s fairly common in the tech world to have “percent time,” or a set amount of time given to employees to explore ideas outside of the set product roadmap.
The thinking here is that when you allow engineers the ability to scratch their own itches, you end up with happier hackers, less burnout, and most importantly new ideas. Many of the products you use every day started out as a small hack project like Google’s Gmail and Facebook’s birthday calendar.
We take this itch-scratching, happy-hacker time very seriously, though also a bit differently than most companies.
Every six weeks we press pause on roadmaps, projections, and meetings. During this week, affectionately known as Hack Week, everyone is given free reign to build, create, or design whatever piques their interest. The only rule is that you have to demo something once Friday rolls around.
Hacks range from data visualizations to monitoring tools to Arduino-powered empty-water-cooler sensors.
Hack Week projects are often way too amazing to keep to ourselves, so we blow them out and polish them up and share them through Chartbeat Labs, a public directory of awesome visualizations and tools built around Chartbeat data.
We’re still working on getting everything up there, but there’s a wealth of interesting stuff just waiting for you:
- Around the World: A real-time map of who’s visiting your site and where they are in the world.
- Big Board: For real time to be a success, you need to live in it, in a full environment of data. The Chartbeat Big Board is perfect for having an ambient view of activity on your site.
- Universe: Your site is a galaxy of pages. Watch them pop in and out of orbit.
- Traffic Control: You know there are people on your site, and you know what pages they’re on. Using Traffic Control, you can watch them move from page to page and understand where your most popular and most important paths are.
- Big Board Mosaic (just for Newsbeat clients): Easily understand your traffic at a glance. Big colorful blocks that tell you how much traffic a page has, and where on the web they came from.
Most importantly, we try to open source anything and everything we can. We love seeing what you guys can accomplish using our API and your own data to create something truly unique.
Want to get in the hack game? Share what you’ve done with us on Twitter. Or if you’re the shy type, kick it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.