Second Annual Hackathon At Urban Science To Fuel Software Development

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DETROIT — Software developers from Urban Science, a global automotive retail consulting firm, will pull an all-nighter at the company’s second annual Hackathon on Nov. 9. During the weeks prior to the event, Urban Science is asking the company’s employees to submit product-related technological challenges they believe can be solved through team-focused software development.

“As a fast-growing, technology-driven company that has been successfully growing our business in Detroit, and globally for 35 years, we recognize the importance of unleashing the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our people,” said Greg Davidson, Urban Science CIO. “Some people might think it’s a little crazy that our folks enjoy working extra hours through the night, but our software developers really have their own culture. The Hackathon is a chance to use their collective imagination to develop new products and improve existing ones, and in the end, allow us to better serve our clients and help them operate more productively.”

The Hackathon begins at 8 a.m. local time for Urban Science’s global offices (in Detroit, the event will be held at the company’s headquarters, located in the Renaissance Center) and runs until 12 p.m. on Nov. 10. Each Hackathon team must comprise a minimum of two, but no more than four, participants. Building teams of colleagues located in different geographic locations is encouraged, but all members of the team must be located in the same time zone to promote fairness. A selection committee will review software challenges submitted by employees and issue the top entries to Hackathon teams when the event begins.

“We want our employees to ‘dream big’ and submit ideas they believe will improve our processes and bring value to ourclients,” said Davidson. “By tapping the strong talent we have in house with a very focused and unconventional challenge, we’re able to activate what truly makes our organization special: our people.”

When the Hackathon ends, participating teams submit a short presentation of their projects and showcase their work. Urban Science’s more than 750 employees will have an opportunity to review the presentations and cast their votes to determine the winning project.

Last year’s event included more than 15 teams worldwide and generated a variety of innovative ideas and proofs of concept, as well as software currently being used by Urban Science in its next-generation products. The 2011 Hackathon’s winning submission created a visual representation of Urban Science data using maps and allowed the maps to be accessed without a keyboard through voice and touch activation.

Founded in 1977, Urban Science is a global automotive retail consulting firm that takes a scientific approach to help companies identify where they should allocate resources in order to increase their market share and profitability in the most effective and efficient manner. With headquarters in Detroit, Urban Science serves its global clientele from offices in the United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, China, Mexico, Russia and Japan. For more information onUrban Science, visit www.urbanscience.com.

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