Thankshacking 2015: The only hackathon that requires gravy

Thankshacking potluck

If you popped into Asana’s offices last week, you might have seen a few employees dressed in ’90s garb, or stepped over some throwback games like Twister on the floor, or passed a Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine just begging to be grooved on.

All these things can only mean one thing: it was Thankshacking at Asana.


Thankshacking (thanks-hacking not thank-shacking) is our longest hackathon of the year with many traditions. Every employee is encouraged to participate in any way they can. It’s a time where Asanas can work outside their usual teams, learn or improve upon their skills, and just plain dream big.

Each year we choose a theme to guide our Thankshacking projects. This year the theme was “Portals.” Now that Asana has three offices around the world (in Dublin, New York, and San Francisco), we wanted to think about how we can stay connected to one another even while we’re physically apart.

After four days of hacking, a potluck where Asanas cooked their favorite dishes (and tried to use some tricks taught by Asana Culinary), an inaugural lip-sync battle, a laser tag tournament, and finally a traditional Thanksgiving meal, Asanas presented their projects to the “celebrity” judges and fellow Asanas.

The demos were as varied and creative as our team. There was a customer marketing portal, experiments with embedded video, and even an attempt at turning Asana into a three-dimensional VR landscape. (Really.)

After close deliberation, the judges decided on three winners:

  • Craziest portal: A proof-of-concept for translating Asana into different languages.
  • Family fun: A user profile page to let users learn more about coworkers with whom they might not work closely.
  • Asana spirit: A revamped and blazingly fast (but simpler) version of Asana using new technologies like React, Typescript, and LunaDb.

Thankshacking prizes

Four days of hacking brought out new ideas and creativity, which, as we’ve seen in past years, could lay the groundwork for future features in Asana.

Thankshacking is one of our favorite Asana traditions. What’s your favorite company tradition?

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