Inside Brandwatch: Explaining Funky Fridays

This post was originally published on Brandwatch's main blog on 8th August 2014.

We love our work here. Playing with great tech to build brilliant products – what’s not to like?

But every two weeks, things get even more special: we have a Funky Friday. (In England, funky means kind of cool. Really)

So what happens on these Creative Fridays is pretty simple: all Engineering staff get to work on whatever project they want. Get an idea, try it, and hopefully learn something new in the process. At the end of the day, people get together and show what they’ve built.

Jon demoing a new visualization

We like to work on a whole range of projects.

Some are rather fanciful: we recently built a foosball goal counter, a Kudos (thank-you) league table and a cocktail-themed party meter.

At the other end of the scale, someone can hit on an interesting idea which ends up becoming a major product feature.

Sometime last year, a developer built a simple but smart program which looks at the first names of Twitter profiles and guesses the person’s gender. We quickly picked on the idea, got a dev team to work on it further and 6 months later, launched Demographics Insights which received some very good feedback.

Other projects worth mentioning include:

  • side-by-side display of dashboard components
  • adoption of New Relic for application monitoring
  • syntax highlighting in our query builder
  • an amazing new Globe scene in Vizia, which will go live soon

All in all, these Fridays are great for innovation, for trying out things which may not work and to explore technologies which keep us ahead of the curve. Cool stuff indeed!