At TikTok, we believe we're at our best when we work together. Though team collaboration looks different today, we're continuing to accelerate innovation by finding new ways to build and grow together, even while we're apart. In the tech community, Hackathons are a playground for cross-functional collaboration, empowering teams to break boundaries and unleash creativity to push platforms forward.

We recently hosted our first Hackathon at TikTok, tapping into diverse perspectives and driving imagination beyond limits. Employees in the US and EU were encouraged to embrace our unique values, including being grounded and courageous to transform visionary ideas into reality. Kicking off our first Hackathon is one of many ways we're fostering an agile culture of engineering to inspire creativity and bring joy to TikTok's global community. The prototypes that originate from events like Hackathons often fuel the creation of user focused features in unforeseen ways.

In under 48 hours, over 120 participants from across TikTok generated 32 standout ideas that were then presented as part of a company-wide showcase. Teams were made up of various fields, with multiple interests and skills, all collaborating to achieve a common goal. Top submissions won awards and prizes, and some of the most outstanding ones were even considered for future product integrations to shape the TikTok experience.

A panel of peer judges spanning across our product, operations, engineering, security, and design teams were charged with evaluating projects based on three key criteria:

  1. Completeness - how close is the prototype to being ready for demo and launch?
  2. Innovation - has something like this been done before, or is this revolutionary?
  3. Product value - does this "hack" meaningfully address user pain points and generate excitement from our community?

The Hackathon surfaced dozens of innovative ideas and imaginative solutions that are bound to have a lasting impact on product development at TikTok. Many submissions championed inclusion and diversity, ranging from AI-generated music widgets, voice activated dancing stickers, customized features to improve accessibility, and more. It's safe to say our first Hackathon was a smashing success, marking the beginning of an annual tradition to harness trailblazing concepts and uncover exciting platform enhancements.

Does tackling unique business challenges while thinking creatively excite you? Are you looking to be apart of a fun, high-growth, and values-driven culture? Join our next Hackathon! Open roles are always up to date on our Careers Page blog, and we'd love to hear from you as we work together to "hack" the next best idea.