FedEx Day – Packed with Innovation, Creativity and Lots of Tech Fun

You’ve probably heard about the ‘FedEx Day’ concept till now. FedEx Day is a 24-hour event in which employees are encouraged to come up with their own project ideas without being hindered by their day-to-day work. The name comes from the fact that they have to deliver overnight, just like the well-known shipping company. FedEx Day has an interesting twist, in the sense that employees have full autonomy over what they do – they decide what they’ll be working on, with whom and how they’re going to do it.

We had our second official FedEx Day within our Microsoft department this June. It was a fun day, packed with innovation, creativity, teamwork and tech-savviness all the way.

The event took place simultaneously in 4 of our iQuest locations in Romania – Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova and Sibiu – and involved quite a few participants: 49 to be exact.

People were encouraged to show their personal focus and priorities in the work that they chose, they could experiment and learn from each other and of course get to know their colleagues better. 14 teams formed around some interesting project proposals. They had to create a software solution/app and afterwards present it to their peers. The event was initially tailored to unfold for 8 hours but our guys and gals were having so much fun that time flew without notice.

All techies within our Microsoft department were called to vote for their favorite pieces of work. There were 5 categories defined – brace yourselves, they’re hilarious – and in the end the glorious winners emerged:

  • For ‘The Godfather’ category (best project idea), 2 projects seized the voters’ attention and interest: ‘I hear you breathing’ & ‘Magic Mirror’. ‘I hear you breathing’, as the name may already suggest, is a software solution for medical purposes, namely a stethoscope which does real time streaming in the cloud to ensure remote diagnosis by doctors. ‘Magic Mirror’ on the other hand is all about beauty and brains – a smart mirror that the user can not only use to check their appearance, but also be up to date with the latest news and updates, own personal calendar and schedule, the weather forecast and the time;
  • The ‘King’s Speech’ category (best project presentation) was won by the ‘To be, or not to be’ solution – a fun project, which lets the user play the role of his/her favorite movie characters;
  • ‘Most technologies used in an application’ would be the summary of the third category ‘Lord of War’ which was won by ‘FeedWall’, a web application that allows engagement from a target audience during an event (conference, marathon etc.);
  • ‘Pretty Woman’ (best user experience) was handed out to ‘Magic Mirror’ again, you can probably imagine why; 🙂
  • And last but not least, we had the ‘Office Space’ category (project that brings value to the company) which was won by the ‘FoodOrderBot’ – a chat bot for the team at the office that passively pays attention to food orders and centralizes them.

Even though there were only 5 winners at the end of the day, all 14 projects were a hit and all the teams deserve a round of applause for their hard work and perseverance.

The participants had quite a blast during FedEx Day. Since a picture speaks a thousand words, we’ll let you see for yourselves. Here are the official video highlights:

We also gathered some feedback from a few participants. Here is what they wanted to share:

“It was interesting, we learned something, we had fun. Thumbs up for the support team, thumbs up for FedEx Day.” – Bogdan Popescu, Tech Lead, iQuest Craiova

“I had the chance to:

  • Keep / get in touch with interesting (new) technologies
  • Be a member of a superb team
  • Feel a sense of achievement
  • Have fun” Robert Rancz, Software Engineer, iQuest Brasov

“It was awesome. For me the gain was to have the opportunity to work with technologies and concepts that I do not use in a normal day. Besides this, I had a great team. It is always a surprise for me how many things can be done in a single day. Great job everyone!” – Gheorghina Gligor, Tech Lead, iQuest Cluj

“It was really nice. From all points of view.” – Eugen Rosenfeld, Solution Architect, iQuest Sibiu

That being said, we’re looking forward to the upcoming FedEx Day editions! 🙂

 

What do you think about the FedEx Day initiative? Do you have something similar at your work place? Or would you like to?

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