Yahoo Hack Day, a career fair for an era of participation

Yahoo! is hosting an open hack day at their Sunnyvale headquarters next Friday and Saturday, introducing developers to well-known Yahoo! employees and development tools. I view the whole thing as a new take on the career fairs of the past, where introductions happen over clever code instead of a carefully crafted resume attempting to make its way through the various cogs on its way to a decision maker. You can try navigating the Yahoo! careers site to figure out which of the 115 open PHP positions are right for you.

There are few details available about the event but that hasn’t stopped people from flying in from as far away as Australia to attend. A few Yahoo! employees have told me there will be big-name music acts performing each night in what could be the biggest corporate party since Pixelon’s $10 million iBash in 1999.

I’ll be attending Hack Day as a curious observer. There should be good talks next Friday on YUI, JSON, and PHP, and the big party is on Saturday night. I’d like to hear a little bit about how Yahoo’s tweaked versions of Apache and PHP differ from trunk and learn about some of their real-time attack and statistics analysis. Perhaps a few people will gather on the lawn to talk about running business and product.

I’ll post pictures and updates from the event. Some things that are on my mind that might come into more focus over the next 10 days include:

  • What are reward and recognition methods for top contributors and developers other than being hired by the API or platform provider?
  • Where is the current state of commercial API agreements at large providers? Do popular mashups receive priority access and support?
  • How have structured corporate collaboration events such as hack days changed product group interactions within big companies?