Toyota recently brought together over 400 software engineers to participate in their annual SWARM Hackathon. Beginning in 2019, SWARM is a program that brings to life innovative ideas by having engineers work to creatively solve specific issues in the automotive industry. After the hackathon, Toyota’s divisions then evaluate many of the ideas and bring some of the best to market.
In just 36 hours all participating teams had to develop an idea from concept and take it to a functioning demo based on the category they were placed in.
Dan Wilkerson, senior technical architect, joined Perficient’s team as a mobile developer for the event. He says of the event, “It was exhilarating to be in a situation where I had to ramp up so quickly and complete a functional demo in a very short period of time. It was especially rewarding seeing it come together in the end as a result of all the hard work the team put in.”
Dan also enjoyed the dynamic of the team and having to adjust the solution on the fly. Our team comprised of four colleagues, Dan; Robert Sumner, principal over our Adobe practice; Koby Yoshiba, associate technical consultant; and Rojesh Shrestha, senior technical architect.
“One of my favorite parts of the hackathon was watching our team come together with the common goal of making our solution in such a small amount of time”, said Robert Sumner. Still in his first year at Perficient, Koby was appreciative of the fact that he got to collaborate with coworkers and leaders in such a dynamic and rewarding environment. How the team worked together truly embodied the culture we have at Perficient. “The cross collaboration from our team was great. I got to work with colleagues from three different business units and work toward a common goal.” said Rojesh.
The hackathon also provided a great learning experience for those involved. Koby noted, “Being able to design an application while hearing feedback from Toyota’s corporate leaders and engineers was a very valuable insight for me. I loved having the ability to talk with many different people who were all extremely accomplished in their careers.” The team cultivated greater knowledge in cloud-based AWS, mobile interfaces, testing head units, and so much more working through their prompt – open innovation. Other prompts included CO2 reduction and drunk-driving prevention. From radical thinking to finished product, it’s exciting to think that the future of car technology comes from events like these.
Want to learn more about SWARM? Hear directly from Toyota here.