Last week was the annual hackweek at Spotify. A week of working on whatever you want, as long as it’s (remotely) linked to the company in one way or another. Learn a new tool, brush up on some skills that you’ve forgotten, work on a product, and so forth.

A lot of software companies have hack time. When I was interning at Ebay, I spent two days in a small team creating a price suggestion feature for new sellers. We didn’t manage to convince the company that it was important and reliable enough to take live. At WDS, we didn’t schedule any regular work during the time between Christmas and New Years Eve in order to inspire innovation.

I’m convinced company wide hackathons improve some kind of mentality about experimenting with new technology and creating prototypes.

I’ve thought about creating a new dashboard for the team’s TVs for some time, but other projects have gotten in the way. I’ve also wanted to try out some of the front-end JavaScript frameworks. So last week I created a dashboard in Backbone, using Mongoose/MongoDB for persistence. It still has a lot of work before it’s truly useful, but it’s a start.

The dashboard contains several views, which it rotates between. It also has an announcement headline that changes when someone sends a new announcement. I plan to add test results, build health, statistics from JIRA and Stack Overflow and some other metrics that we care about.