Developers played with ideas for almost 24 hours straight

50 developers met for the fourth time for Hack Day – to test new ideas, but also to compete and connect with their peers.

Code experts at Hack Day in Helsinki. Photo: Tommy Nordlund.

In October 2018, 50 of the keenest minds in the development business met to come up with technical solutions for specific issues.

Topics included how to design a concept that allows viewers to interact during a football match via live polls, and how to engage younger audiences who are difficult to reach.

Although the name Hack Day has connotations of forced entry into closed, confidential computer systems, the Nordic developers stick to addressing public service-related issues during the 24 hours they spend together.


Across borders and editorial offices

The fourth meeting took place just outside Helsinki. This time, adding a new element to the concept, the organisers from Yle had prepared ready-made themes.

Participants could select a theme of interest and work on this with colleagues from different countries and editorial teams. Meeting like-minded colleagues is one of Hack Day’s specific objectives.

“It’s incredibly important to organise events like this. Several of the concepts we work on may never come to fruition, but that’s OK, as long as we can connect later on and continue to develop our cooperation,” says Ingvild Støvring, concept developer at NRK.

After spending nearly 24 hours designing concepts, each group pitched their idea to the jury, which this year consisted of Kristian Martikainen and Tuija Aalto from Yle and Lise Angell from NRK.


“It’s incredibly important to organise events like this.”
– Ingvild Støvring, concept developer at NRK


Article concept for young viewers

The judges based their evaluations on three general categories: rationality, ethics and the feelings evoked by the idea.

“Many of the participants had done an impressive job in the very short time available. Some pitches had more potential than the presentations revealed, so we gave them feedback on how they could have made their pitch even more tempting,” said Tuija Aalto, media strategist and Head of Social Media at Yle.

A unanimous jury ended up selecting a concept that breaks articles for younger audiences into smaller chunks to make the content more readily accessible.

The reader can scroll down the article to continue reading or get more information about the subject at the side.

The idea is to answer the questions young readers naturally ask themselves while they are reading.

The jury felt that this idea had significant public service value, as it helps fill in gaps in knowledge and provides a learning experience.