Making a Lasting Impact in Just “48 Hours”

June 7, 2016      By Adam Rogers

Forty-eight hours.

For many of us, in the context of our busy, nonstop lives, two days may seem like a minor blip on a much larger radar. For some, however, two days are enough to make a lasting impact.

Twice a year at Ultimate Software, we host a special coding event called “48 Hours.” As the name suggests, our talented developers get two consecutive days to break from their current work and focus on projects outside the realm of our roadmap. There are very few rules, and the options are virtually endless. Teams can (and are encouraged to) think and go in any direction of their choosing, so long as it somehow relates to Ultimate’s products and/or services.

“It’s great that Ultimate fosters a culture of innovation. With ‘48 Hours,’ we have the opportunity to work with different team members, and seeing how our talents merge together is powerful during an innovation process.” —Marta Guerra, User Experience Designer, Ultimate Software

First comes the brainstorming. Then the marathon coding session. Finally, “48 Hours” wraps with a project showcase akin to a science fair, where the teams share their creations with colleagues and present their concepts to Ultimate’s executives. Awards are also given out for the best solutions across several categories, with results determined solely by peer voting.

But “48 Hours” isn’t just about winning trophies or earning bragging rights. It’s about innovation, collaboration, and camaraderie. Most importantly, it’s about people—great people working together, building great technology, helping people achieve greatness.

At Ultimate, we’re 100% committed to people, and we’re devoted to making UltiPro® the best human capital management (HCM) technology on the market. Every day, we’re thinking of new ways to put people first, and then designing and delivering the tools and resources to make it happen.

“It is always important to question the status quo and think of totally new approaches to problems we think are already solved.” —Baker Bokorney, Software Engineer, Ultimate Software

Challenging the norm and always striving for better. Those are two principles that define “48 Hours”—and US. Because, at Ultimate, though we’re proud of our award-winning HCM technology, we realize our work is never truly finished. The next great breakthrough is often just around the corner. Sometimes, it’s already in our minds. In the case of “48 Hours,” it’s a chance to further develop those ideas and bring them to life.

In fact, several concepts from “48 Hours” have led to new features and enhancements in UltiPro. Some examples include the option for administrators to configure field labels, the ability for employees to manage their 401(k) contributions from a mobile device, and functionality that enables users to set up rules that will auto-populate data in UltiPro based on the value of another field.

“‘48 Hours’ allows us to innovate and explore new ideas in ways that we can’t always do on a day-to-day basis. It gives us the freedom to do something new and crazy that may not work the same when it gets released, but will get people thinking about new ways we could enhance or expand UltiPro.” —Peter Faria, Software Engineer, Ultimate Software

So, what can be done in 48 hours?

A lot—when you really put your mind to it.




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