12 Of The Coolest Hacks From Hack Week Summer 2016

    In Mid July, BuzzFeed’s tech team hacked on projects (32 in total!) from all corners of the United States and across the world. We had a great time and produced some awesome work!

    1. slackBock

    2. Django in Rig

    With our awesome new deployment solution Rig in place, we investigate how to use it with a Django application.

    Django in rig provides the developer with:

    - A dependable ORM

    - Automatically generated schema migrations

    - An extensive ecosystem of third party packages including REST frameworks

    Team: Peter Karp & Adrienne Fishman

    3. VR Choose Your Own Adventure Video

    This virtual reality choose-your-own-adventure game puts the user in the shoes of the project's creator, presenting them with scenarios and asking them to make choices. Depending on the user's choice, they will be presented with different scenes and situations in return. Video was shot in full 360 and the game itself prototyped in Quartz Composer and then hooked up to an Oculus DK2 for the full VR experience. You can experience the 360 version on YouTube here.

    Voted "Most interesting implementation of new tech"!

    Team: Sabrina Majeed

    4. Open GL for 3D Projections

    5. Live Video in the a BuzzFeed Feed

    6. DevBar

    DevBar is a toolbar accessible in our local dev environment that provides basic context for any page that you’re looking at. It includes the name of the current controller and the template being rendered, as well as other data present in the current request, all of which provide a big head start when debugging issues or just trying to find your way around our codebase.

    Voted "Most likely to get integrated into production"

    Team: Erik Price

    7. BuzzFeed Office Hours

    8. Buddy Tooltip

    9. WTF is Product

    10. Produce a Video

    View this video on YouTube


    In ABCD's Try Shaadi.com For The First Time, we created, filmed and edited a BuzzFeed Motion Pictures video with Southeast Asians in mind. Along the way, we learned about the incredible amount of work and time that goes into producing a short video, which increased our appreciation for the craft and informed our perspective on the tools we build for those teams.

    Voted "Team that ventured most outside their comfort zone"

    Team: Anita Mehrotra, Amir Shaikh, Swara Kantaria

    11. Ken Burnzz

    Ken Burnzz is a Twitter Bot that has the potential to automate video generation based on a BuzzFeed article. Currently, it only supports generating videos from lists but the general concept was to take any article and tweet a short video that provides users a preview of that article. We experimented with new technologies and used Node.js (with ES6 + babel!) along with the Twitter API and Buzz API. As BuzzFeed continues to generate new content at a rapid pace, teasers or previews of articles could become useful for users to get a sneak-peek before committing to the entire piece.

    Team: Alex Duner, Brandon Choi

    12. Transmogrifier