In early August, the Data Science (DS) team put on their first DS-wide hackathon. The global hackathon event brought together Boston and Berlin based data scientists for one day of hacking and demos. The event challenged teams to think big about how algorithms can transform Wayfair’s business and help unveil unseen possibilities. Some successful tools and products on our site, like our Visual Search tool, started as hackathon projects! The hackathon is a fun challenge to try out new methods or algorithms, explore a different part of the business, and collaborate with team members across disciplines.
5 Min Read
This summer, 56 software engineering interns made a massive impact on Wayfair at our Boston headquarters. These talented engineering students, who represent 38 different universities across the country, came together for an incredibly successful 10-week internship. From learning a new tech stack, developing skills in stakeholder management, to attending events like Red Sox games and an internal hackathon, it’s safe to say it was a summer they will never forget.
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Some of Wayfair’s most innovative ideas have been born out of our internal hackathon, WayfairHacks, which takes place every Summer at our Boston headquarters. This includes our mobile app feature View in Room 3D and Search with Photo, both of which have helped us win a Webby Award in 2018 and 2019 in the category for Best Shopping App. Last year’s hackathon winner, driveWay, has also made its way into production – an internal app for truck drivers for routing and delivery tracking as a part of our supply chain network, addressing the challenge in first-mile transportation.
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When people think of Wayfair, they often think of the slick website, catchy TV ads, and personable customer service. They also obviously think of furniture. What they don’t think about, however, is how that furniture gets to the customer. Many people don’t realize that UPS and FedEx won’t bring a dresser or a dining table to their house. They also don’t realize that Wayfair actually maintains and operates a massive supply chain network of carriers, warehouses, and delivery agents that have to work perfectly in sync in order to get your couch to you by Friday. Superior delivery speed, reliability, and low costs are paramount to Wayfair’s success as a business, and these areas are the main concerns of my team, Transportation Engineering (TRNS).
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I have just hit the "publish" button on Wayfair's Tech Radar. This is a manifestation of our commitment to transparently share how we think about the technologies we use to build our systems and applications. We are publicly sharing the exact same version externally that we use to guide internal discussions and decisions. You will get to see us working on these decisions in real time.
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This past summer, Wayfair welcomed 47 software engineering interns to its Boston headquarters. Traveling from 27 different universities across the United States, these interns were immersed in a summer internship that would challenge them to be critical thinkers, innovators, and collaborative team members as they partnered up with engineering teams to solve complex business problems.
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I’m Mike Festa and I’m the director of Wayfair Next. We are a team of 25 engineers carrying out R&D with cutting edge technology. We partner with other leading tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Magic Leap, to bring new experiences to our customers on their emerging platforms. What are we working on, you ask? We’re excited and currently completing projects that span AR/VR, 3D Scanning, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and 3D Tools. There is a lot in the pipeline and we’re continuing to explore the feats of these interesting technological realms.
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Earlier this month, the Pricing Algorithms team had a Community Service Hack Day here at our office, dedicating an afternoon to work on simple tools that could be used as part of any project. The day was an opportunity to fill any knowledge gaps in how our team overcomes common data problems, improve documentation and testing, and ensure that everyone on our rapidly growing team can learn the technical strengths of other team members.
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