In the middle of June, Sabre held the “Innovation Garage” – an event combining a Hackathon with a business-case pitch. It’s a competition where everyone in the organization could present his or her best idea to invent something new. If you’ve read my recent articles you’ll know my overall excitement for the event, and my enthusiasm for our latest technologySabre Dev Studio.  I’m proud to report to you that in the 24-hour contest, my team planned, programmed, and presented a fully working feature that improves the TripCase experience in a totally unique way. Although we didn’t take first place this year, I’ve never felt more successful.

Working all night long is an intimidating thought, but pulling together an excellent team made all the difference. It was crucial to team with people who have the technical skills and optimistic attitude to make the project a reality. Let me tell you who was on my team:

– Burin Asavesna, product engineer

– Jim Resnowski, user experience designer

– Vance Weintraub, product manager

– John Samuel, programmer

– Ken Tabor (me!), product engineer

This project wouldn’t have been finished without their tireless dedication, and wouldn’t have gotten started without their positive energy. Believe me that all of the teams were fantastic competitors, made up of top-notch creators.

Hackathon

Build night involved making the project work as well as pulling together a case study justifying why our project is valuable to Sabre’s business as a technology company serving the travel industry. When we hit the 24-hour time limit the next morning, we reserved an hour for practicing our delivery before judging. Public speaking isn’t the strongest of our skills so three of us shared the duty. Our audience consisted of six judges who were pulled from across the organization. Each of them came looking for something special, and all of the teams delivered.

After a good night’s sleep we finished the feature according to our team’s engineering process:

1. Code refactoring brought it in line with our standards

2. We issued a “pull request” through our Git-based revision control system for review by an impartial teammate

3. Our Q/A expert spent time manually testing it

4. Finally we “merged the feature branch to master” where the production-ready code lives for shipping to our TripCase customers

Although the code was written during a “hack” session, we still hold ourselves up to a high level of engineering excellence. It’s this discipline that drives our team’s culture, and helps us meet travelers’ expectations.

What did we build?

Instagram Improvement

A way for you to better use our technology for telling your story. One where you can communicate about your upcoming trip by sharing the ‘Trip Countdown’ view from TripCase to your social networks. I’m proud to say that our Hackathon entry has become the latest feature in TripCase, and I can’t wait to see how you use it when it rolls out to the various app stores soon.