Ben Reich Wed Feb 3, 2016

Originally posted 4 February at 13:10:

It was down to the wire in the first SundaySky DevJam of 2016. As the red-eyed teams were polishing up their demo presentations leading up to the deadline, it was clear that we were all in store to be wow’ed. 

Some of us had a more successful night than others (… success = grabbing a little shut-eye… ) but there was not one single team that did not learn and teach us all something new about the technology and the business. It was also clear that during this hackathon, we had built a set of tools that will no doubt be adopted and put to work immediately. 

Now, the voting process commences. Since SundaySky is an international company, we take the next few days and present our results from the last 24 hours to every employee at SundaySky.

At 11:00 AM, all 10 teams presented their wares to the DevJam participants. Apart from some great demos, they showed their capacity to entertain even after a sleepless night. Out of the 10 teams we had seven self-proclaimed successes and three partial successes. Now, it is time for the popular vote to have its say. Stay tuned for the results!

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Catching a little shut eye

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Winner for best sleeping spot.

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Time’s up! Show us what you got…

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Demo presentation of the last 24 hours


Originally posted 4 February at 01:07:

It’s 1 AM, and things are just starting to heat up. The office is buzzing with activity and people are in high spirits as teams continue to design code and implement. Late night pizza just arrived and energy is at an all-time high. In fact, one team’s inner animals have emerged. Err, make that animal costumes:

They know how to DevJam. The animal onesie gang: Ifat, Meshi, Shir & Yael

We caught up with Daphna Cherkassky, one of our R&D directors at SundaySky, to hear what she is doing…  

Me: Hey Daphna, what’s happening?
Daphna: I am jammin’ away!

Me: What are you working on in 24 hours?
Daphna: We are building some very cool cloud technology that will make our personalized videos render faster. It has to do with advanced machine learning technology that will cause better resource distribution over our rendering farms. 

Me: And how’s it going so far?
Daphna: Super exciting! We gathered data from our big data environment and built a simulator for testing. We are on track for having something great to show! 

Me: Anything else to add?
Daphna: 
I want to know where everybody got those cool onesies!


Originally posted 3 February at 20:17:

SundaySky has generated more more than 500 million SmartVideos since 2011. Each video rendered and subsequent view generates thousands of data points into our data environment, which our data scientists use in order to optimize, tweak and refine every aspect of our product.

Throughout this DevJam hackathon, some of the teams are working to add more layers of artificial intelligence to optimize, enrich and streamline the end customer experience while other teams are adding different aspects of machine learning in order to achieve several important goals: 

  • Optimize performance to allow for faster SmartVideo generation and open new possibilities for enriching the video with more creative features.
  • Make decisions on when to show a video, and when not to.
  • Make decisions on which of the unlimited video story variations to show the viewer based on past learnings.

It’s almost midnight, and the teams are furiously working to turn all of that SmartVideo big data into actionable insights that are read by both data analysts, marketing analysts and optimization algorithms in order to continuously improve performance and increase impact. Awesome work team, and we’re only half-way through!


Originally posted 3 February at 11:00:

Do you feel the energy?! We just kicked off SundaySky’s second DevJam, our semi-annual hackathon, with a slew of new innovations due to be tested and proven in the next 24 hours!

Our entire R&D staff along with the creative and operations teams have just divided into 10 teams, each selecting their own projects to work from company-wide brainstorming from Tel Aviv to Tokyo. These teams have set some very ambitious goals designed to take SmartVideo to the next level! The themes in today’s hackathon include some of the biggest challenges facing the personalized video engagement space, including: 

  • Making SmartVideo even more personalized and real-time than it is today (is that possible?!) to drive deeper engagement for the end consumer, thereby increasing the value of a video view for the brand. 
  • Creating more channels and better ways to convey the video story and message, ultimately enhancing the end viewer’s experience in order to increase the effectiveness and impact that personalized video has on the audience.
  • Maximizing video generation efficiency to allow our customers and creative teams to produce visually richer and more eye-catching video graphics.
  • Streamlining the creation process for SundaySky customers and partners to reduce the time to plan, build and deliver SmartVideo to our customers.

We are off on a 24-hour quest to push ourselves and the personalized video engagement category forward. Because after all, we are fueled by our innovative spirit, and, of course, by food! (Within an hour after kickoff, we were feeding the crew. This is going to be a hungry 24 hours!) Stay tuned for more updates later today!

Twenty-four hours starts... now!

Twenty-four hours starts… now!

Red team!

Red team!

No hackathon is complete with out DevJam treats!

No hackathon is complete with out DevJam treats!

Four hours down, 20 to go!

Four hours down, 20 to go!


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