What is Haxo?
A large part of Comcast Silicon Valley’s culture at Plaxo is Haxo. Haxo is our “hack day” where every employee works on whatever idea they want with whoever they want. Want to write a new app? Redesign an existing webpage? Build an internal tool? Investigate a new technology? Prototype a new business process? If so, then Haxo is for you. The term Haxo was inspired by our Plaxo moniker. Plaxo…Haxo. Get it? It rhymes. We also have Relaxo (our casual company-wide meeting area) and Snaxo (our micro-kitchen stocked with goodies). But that’s another blog entry. Back to Haxo…
Like other technology companies in the valley, we believe that dedicating time for hacking days is important. At the end of the Haxo, everyone presents their ideas in a company-wide meeting to showcase what they and their team accomplished. We take the very best ideas, turn them into products, and release them to our users. Here are Haxo guidelines:
- The Haxo idea must be related in some way to Comcast Silicon Valley
- No meetings can be scheduled that day
- Management cannot interfere with Haxo. (In fact, many managers participate as developers working on their own ideas).
- Most importantly, we supply breakfast, lunch and dinner to all employees on this day! *nom nom*
Our last Haxo
We believe that allowing all of our employees time to “hack” generates the best ideas and simultaneously rejuvenates and reinvigorates our staff. Each employee is empowered to showcase their talents and break out of the day-to-day routine. For many Haxo ideas, employees will self-form teams. Maybe a product manager needs a front-end developer, or maybe a quality engineer wants to code. We support employees stepping out of their roles to tackle new challenges. Whatever the role and self-defined team, we build a stronger organization and develop more effective relationships and skills across the broader organization. Some examples of our last Haxo in July 2011 include:
The New Plaxo Bookmarklet
Google+. We shipped this feature enhancement in August 2011 and have had over 650 so far!
Live stats shown on development floor. (Our employees can see instant statistics about our sites in real-time on one of our television screens.)
Create a new mascot for a newly formed project team
Prototype for Plaxo.com personal profiles (Sshhhhh….Still under wraps)
Internal Testing Tools and Build enhancements using Jenkins
You can help!
If you have a feature request, product enhancement, or improvement to Plaxo.com or Comcast Xfinity’s mobile applications, then take a moment and comment on our blog with your idea. In the comments, tell us what your idea is with as much detail as you can provide. We intend on prototyping some of your ideas during our next Haxo in late October 2011. Thanks for your suggestions!