Ericsson’s St. Lucia Day Hackathon – Incorporating Local Traditions in the Office

At Ericsson, our team likes to tie in local traditions to bring our Ericsson family together. And one of our traditions is Saint Lucy’s Day which is widely celebrated on December 13 in Scandinavia, Italy, Croatia and Hungary.

St. Lucia Day Hackathon

In December, the days are short in Scandinavia. And during the days of darkness, St. Lucia brings light. During our celebrations, we hope that Lucia will illuminate not only the darkness, but also to light our path and ways to improve. This year, our Lucia shed light on Continuous Deployment. At Ericsson, we’re focused on Continuous Deployment, but we wanted to find ways to be able to deploy even more often and even more smoothly. So, in the spirit of St. Lucia, we decided to plan a Hackathon on December 13!

The Hackathon

There is an Italian saying: “Per Santa Lucia il giorno corre via — The day of St. Lucia goes fast.” And at Ericsson where every day is a fun adventure, it couldn’t be any truer! With that in mind, our team got right to work planning the hackathon. We brainstormed together to spark the innovation of our talented team of change makers, and before we knew it, we had the first amazing ideas. After the first brainstorming, we began our search for this year’s St. Lucia and Star Boy!

The Lucia Day itself was kick started by another one of our traditions, the Ericsson family annual Christmas photo. This was our fifth Christmas photo in a row and it is nice to see from these pictures how our family has evolved!

Shortly after, the lights were dimmed and the traditional Lucia song was in the air. Our Lucia entered the room dressed in a white gown and with light in her hair. She was followed with our Star Boy wearing white and having a tall paper cone on his head. After the festive round around the office to inspire our team, it was time to get back to work refining our ideas before the hacking commenced. 

Throughout the day, gingerbread and mulled wine was available to fuel the hackers. In the afternoon, we checked on the status of everyone’s ideas, to ensure that we were heading in the right direction, but the result won’t be ready until the demo day, and of course in all our coming deployments.

Still listening the messages from all the enthusiastic hackers made me feel certain that next year we will sing again:

“Then on our darkest night,
Comes with her shining light
Sankta Lucia! Sankta Lucia!”

What could go wrong when we tackle a challenge together? David Weatherford has said “When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.” and this is what we do together with my family and together with my Ericsson family, not only on Lucia Day, but every day!

Want to know more about Lucia? Check out: https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/lucia/.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Outi Vaattanen
Outi Väättänen is a senior Lean and Agile coach working in Ericsson R&D.
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