The Forge encompasses everything people envision when they think of a fun and innovative software hackathon – delicious food trucks to keep the creative juices floating, high energy (fueled in part by plenty of energy drinks) and nightly social gatherings to decompress while fostering team bonding. Most importantly, The Forge brings together like-minded tech enthusiasts from the CoreLogic team to solve problems.
Since 2013, The Forge, a CoreLogic Valuation Technology (CLVT) hackathon, has taken place in December in Oxford, Mississippi. However, that changed in 2019. Last year, for the first time, The Forge was held in more than one location. Not only did the annual hackathon take place in Oxford, CoreLogic also expanded the event to the Dallas and Oklahoma City offices.
The hackathon is designed to showcase employee-driven innovation by celebrating each participant’s experience, creativity and insights. Participants —a mix of technical and non-technical CoreLogic employees—form teams and work together to define a business or market need. Once teams develop a summary, model or proof-of-concept, they present their ideas to a multi-organizational judging panel via a five-minute video.
The structure of the hackathon continues to evolve and improve each year. Seven years ago, The Forge was a fun, 24-hour marathon of creativity and was limited to teams of three participants or less. While no longer a 24-hour event, The Forge has maintained the fun, and continues to become more collaborative, structured and refined with each passing year. Today, The Forge entails a full two days of competition with teams of up to five members, and a third day has been added solely for presentations and awards.
An Evolution of Innovation
Since its inception, there have been over 120 ideas presented. Concepts have ranged from customer-oriented products, such as appraisal review automation and mobile utilities for loan officers, to more technical developments, such as new APIs, configuration utilities and data science and visualizations. Each year, judges award prizes for Best Technical Solution, Best New Product/Feature and Biggest Impact, and one “Participants’ Choice” prize.
For the past two years, the winning teams have presented their ideas to a panel of judges with the goal of seeing some of the projects through to production, such as Michaelene Johnson, Victor Pirkle and Bobby Allen’s CMS Reports, a tool that lenders use to build and schedule reports.
“I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune of supporting The Forge since it first began as this experimental hackathon,” said Glen Evans, Executive for Valuation Technology Solutions, one of the key sponsors for the event. “It strengthens employee engagement, engenders a culture of innovation and bridges teams from across the organization in the spirit of One CoreLogic. Not to mention, the dialogue across teams has become more fluid and made CoreLogic as a whole more agile and technologically competitive.”
Kudos from the Crowd
“Going from being a participant in The Forge, to being a judge has been an incredible experience. Several of the solutions developed during last year’s event had real life applications that I would use in my day-to-day activities. I’m proud to be part of such a unique experience and look forward to seeing more innovations come to life.”
- Rina Jariwala, Executive Credit Operations
“The Forge is the highlight of my year. As a former participant myself, it is a privilege to put together an event that fosters innovation, allows employees to break out of their day-to-day routines and ends each year on a fun and energetic note.”
- Courtney Humphries, Sr. Leader IT Quality Assurance
“I was a first-time participant in 2019, and The Forge was one of the best team-building events I have experienced. I thoroughly enjoyed the hackathon and am grateful for the opportunity. The talent and ideas delivered during this event made me proud to be a part of such an innovative company.”
- Matthew Reily, Sr. Leader Software Engineering
Senior Leader, Software Engineering
Senior Leader, Software Engineering