Innovation lab: summer internship hackathon bootcamp

Herndon, VA – This summer we had the crazy idea of organizing a Summer Internship Hackathon for a dozen high school graduates and rising Seniors. The goals were to:

  • Teach agile web development
  • Validate the market for a particular application
  • Produce a Software as a Service (SaaS) web application
  • Obtain Traction through Growth Hacking and Guerilla Marketing

In the first week of our internship, we provided basic training in the concepts of agile web development, scrum, and the rituals associated with agile and scrum. We also introduced the products that we were considering and performed market validation in the spirit of Lean Startup.

In our second week, we got through our second sprint and followed all of the rituals of a good sprint: Story Time, Backlog Grooming, Daily Stand-ups, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Demo, and Retrospective.

The Demo was particularly exciting for everybody and gave teams a chance to stand up in front of their peers and show off.  The Sprint Retrospective was very insightful and we picked up some great Lessons Learned to improve our future sprints.

As I look back on this exciting week of Agile Transformation for these high school students and college-bound Freshman, three things really impressed me about these kids:

  1. They rapidly self-organized and didn’t wait to be told what to do
  2. They were totally comfortable standing up in front of a crowd to present
  3. They were critical thinkers and problem solvers

I am so pleased, impressed, and proud of the young adults that I am working with in our first ever Summer Internship Hackathon and can’t wait to see what they are able to produce and deliver at the end of the summer.

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