Friday Demos are the one time in the week that the SocialCops team stops executing and sits back to have some fun. On Friday at 6 pm sharp, we put our laptops away and focus our attention on the projector screen that makes its way down for its two hours of glory. Friday Demos are a tradition that we started at SocialCops in January 2015 – as a way to celebrate our product wins, understand our failures and take feedback as a team.
On the whiteboard is chalked out the names of the teams and people who will be presenting on that particular demo. Most of the team loves to show off what they’ve built that week, so demos tend to get maxed out most of the time!
A typical week at SocialCops culminates in a Friday Demo where teams showcase the different things they’ve been working on during the week, the challenges they confronted and how they wiggled out of them. Friday demos are deeply rooted in our culture of cross learning and open communication.
The fast-paced work week can sometimes make you laser focused. Demos are a great time to step out of individual metrics and learn what’s going on across teams. We use this time to give UI/ UX feedback, get answers to our product-related questions, share client feedback etc. It has evolved to be our preferred model of team communication (after Slack, which is our first love!)
New Team Members: Showing off hacks!
At SocialCops we’ve moved on from traditional orientations and welcome weeks to something that we call a hack week. Solving the world’s biggest problems doesn’t need warming up, it needs a deep dive into the challenge at hand.
The majority of a person’s first week at SocialCops will consist of a “hack”, which is a single project with an immediate impact on SocialCops. The hack is created individually for each person who joins, based on what is best suited to their skill set and will help accelerate their work. Previous hacks include scraping voter rolls of the entire country, building an excel plugin for researchers to interface with our data, designing infographics, and even an overhaul of the on-boarding process. Hacks are designed to make sure a new member probably have to crack an all nighter to complete it and will likely require some collaboration and consultation with other people at SocialCops.
Most people say “WHAAT? Thats going to take 3 weeks – how can I do it by Friday?!” on being presented their hack. We say “Welcome to SocialCops!”
In addition, every new member has to create out a visual, fun profile about themselves to introduce themselves to the SocialCops team.
We kicked off our demo with Sahaj, a new member who joined the team as a graphic designer. We were particularly excited about Sahaj’s introduction. He was the first full time graphic designer to join us and we were pretty sure he was going to raise the bar of our visual introductions!
His hack week consisted of building set of posters for a hiring campaign that SocialCops will launch in the top colleges in India next month. From his video game and coding references to the beautiful graphics, it was a hack well done!
As another example, our data engineer Rishabh Raj shipped his first product (an Excel plugin that allows users to play around with the universe of data we’ve built) for his hack week. He did all of this within 9 days of his start day.
Not very many people can claim to have travelled through 6 Indian states in 5 months, meeting over 150 non-profit organizations at one go – and solo, at that. As our last Himsagar fellow had to say, “If you step outside and give India a chance, you’ll see how incredible she is!”
Catch her experiences and more here.