03 8 / 2012
When Craig Silverstein joined Khan Academy, he brought a few traditions with him from his Google days. The most delicious one is bread. It is homemade - or rather office-made - fresh every week. The sweet baked bread aroma wafts through our office and lures us to pounce at the perfectly crunchy crust and pillowy insides time and again.
Check out our pouncing skillz the first week:
Over time, this baked bread tradition has become more and more elaborate, with not just butter to accompany the main staple, but peanut butter, Nutella, and even BBQ sauce (Matt) partnering with the yummy treat.
There was a bread scare when Craig announced he was going on vacation, but luckily Chefmaster Hu stepped up to fill Craig’s shoes. And boy has he filled them!
With interns this summer, we are now doing double loaves, and have added freshly made butter (thank you Emily!), and fresh squeezed lemonade (thank you Tom and Arun!).
Like Craig, David kicks off the weekly ritual by strolling around the office with the bread to really makes us salivate after the wafting scent before we can dive in, and then announces in a booming voice: “BREAD!!!”
Tom’s expression says it all - we may have fun with a lot of things here at Khan Academy, but we’re serious about our bread.
08 7 / 2012
This past weekend was Khan Academy’s first ever Healthy Hackathon*. This was my first ever hackathon - and I must say that the healthy hackathon is DA BOMB. While that term may be outdated, this concept is ahead of its time.
*For non-hackers out there, a “hackathon” is NOT when you learn awesome hackey-sack skillZ (which Michael, our Head of Finance, pointed out as a very reasonable misconception). Nor does hacking mean what it did in the 90’s, as portrayed in this classic Angelina Jolie movie called “Hackers” about dangerous computer viruses. Nowadays, hackathons are a norm in the techy community (there’s even a Wikipedia article which means it must be so). But basically, it means getting together for a short burst of time to work on stuff you think would be super awesome.*
Our hackathon had three rules -
- You have to create something connected to Khan Academy
- You have to demo or show off what you’ve create at the end of the hackathon.
- You have to act like a healthy hacker.
What does the healthy part of the hackathon entail? Seems a little oxymoron-ish given most hackathons work through the night and include lots of junk food; however, our HH required a) eating healthy food provided by the company (which in this case meant provided by Ben Kamens), and b) getting a good night’s sleep - none of this crazy code through the night business, so we were all kicked out at 11:45pm and let back in at 9:30am.
We also like to be inclusive and had folks from every part of the organization participating. Throughout the hackathon, our folks were so nice - offering up help whenever needed. It felt so supportive and inspiring to be hacking with this bunch. There was also really cool music playing throughout courtesy of our mix-tape contest entries ( http://spoti.fi/KYRtIr ) [Thank you @jasonrr for arranging that awesomeness!).
The demos at the end completely blew me away. Amazing stuff was developed, and a LOT of it is, or near, shippable. I can’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet, but look out for some cool stuff in the near future showing up on the main Khan Academy site. I s’pose it ain’t fair to leave you completely hanging, so here’s a peak at the cool t-shirt our design intern Mary came up with for the participants.
All ‘n all, it was AWESOME - I can’t wait for the next one!
Thank you head developer Ben Kamens for leading the way!