WPUniversity Hackathon: “Codename Clippy”

The WPUniversity/SIDEKICK team held its first hackathon this weekend.

We were joined by Orbital, who we’re working with on the upcoming WPUniversity redesign.

The team split into two groups: Code and Content (the latter including design).

We kept ourselves fueled with fruits, veggies, and fresh bread from a local bakery.

The Play-by-Play

Friday afternoon:

Our WPUniversity philosophy is to help new users succeed with WordPress. We wanted Codename Clippy to embrace that philosophy as well.

The Hackathon kicked off with a discussion about the user problem that we wanted to solve, and the potential solutions we could build.

Photo of the group kicking off the Hackathon discussion.

In the end we wanted to tackle the problem by building a broader-use plugin, and — sticking with the spirit of WordPress — making sure it would all be GPL compliant.

Friday evening:

Work started with both groups breaking down the user flow. Step by step, what would the experience be like?

We reviewed the steps over dinner, ensuring everyone was on the same page.

Photo of the group reviewing plugin user flow.

Saturday morning:

We were back in the office for 10:00am on Saturday. After some breakfast, the entire team was back at work, heads down, plowing forward on building the plugin.

Saturday afternoon:

We took a break from Codename Clippy for a presentation from Clarissa Peterson on responsive design.

Group watching presentation by Clarissa Peterson.

We ran it over Google Hangouts, with Clarissa in Montreal and us in downtown Toronto. It was a first for both Clarissa and ourselves.

Afterwards, we shot team photos for the new SIDEKICK website.

Photo of our developer Kyle being photographed.

Saturday evening:

The day wound down with dinner and some rounds of Cards Against Humanity. (Yes, there are some horrible people among us!)

Photo of our Cards Against Humanity deck.


The whole team works together toward the same goal.

It’s rare for us, as a team, to have an opportunity to work on the same thing. As a bootstrapped startup, we’re constantly pulled in different directions: Client projects, SIDEKICK, WPUniversity.

Codename Clippy was the first time we had everyone working on the same project. Nobody was excluded.

Watching an idea evolve to become something better.

A few of us have been thinking about Codename Clippy for several months, and we each had a vision of what the final project would look like.

When the larger team got together, with fresh eyes and original perspectives, those entrenched visions took on new forms.

WPuniversity Hackathon Team

So, what did we build?

You’ll see soon enough. Codename Clippy will be launching as a core feature on the new WPUniversity.com.

Here’s a hint:

WordPress Plugins Meme

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