While working from home and searching for ways to connect during the pandemic, Shipt teams built a brand-new tradition: Demo Day.
And in its latest installment, hundreds of team members, spanning the country and representing different parts of the business, came together for a front-row seat to learn about and celebrate the latest innovative tools and features engineering, data science, and product teams are building.
Demo Day at Shipt is an internal, virtual event packed to the brim with live product walk-throughs, feature first-glances and new-to-market solution discussions. The coolest part? It’s collaborative, cross-functional and connects dots across the company through excitement and inspiration.
“Planning Demo Day broadened my understanding of the impact individual team members have in their day-to-day roles and how their ingenuity directly contributes to the progression of our business initiatives,” said Anna Salazar, one of the original Demo Day event leads. “Helping host these events has given me such a sense of pride and fulfillment in being a member of the technology team.”
Keynote addresses kick-off the day’s activities, with team members receiving the honor of being chosen by the planning committee. Their task: inspire, motivate and encourage.
Britt Goetze, a principal product manager who delivered a keynote this year, said about the day: “It’s great to see the brilliant work our teams have been focused on come to life. It was energizing to deliver a keynote and motivating to witness all the cutting-edge innovations shared.”
Afterward, team members bounce between four separate tracks focused on the different audiences who use Shipt – shoppers, customers, partners and team members. Tracks are recorded for team members to catch up on the presentations they missed while they were participating elsewhere. And a designated leader takes the reins as host for each track, curating the conversation and keeping team presentations on a fast-paced flow to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
One of the best parts of Demo Day is always the team member engagement. When each team starts to present, others shout names and positive comments in chat. These are big moments, and people’s faces regularly light up as they describe progress on long-term projects coming to fruition. Senior leaders pop into the different tracks, too, and of course, champion their teams.
“I first joined Shipt in a role on the support team [the team that takes calls and chats from customers, shoppers and partners who need assistance] before moving to the technology team, so sharing a feature that I helped develop was surreal and kind of like a dream come true,” said Jacob Isdell, a quality assurance analyst in engineering.
And to wrap things up, we end Demo Day with a company-wide happy hour where people get to discuss their favorite presentations and spend time with one another outside of meetings. Colleagues catch up, ask questions about the technology showcased, and get to spend time celebrating all the work and innovation taking place across the company each and every day.
"Demo Day helped me to learn a lot and it felt good to help organize an event that enabled tech discussions across the company," said Jai Venkatesan, a Demo Day event lead.
Demo Day is just one of the company-wide events at Shipt focused on learning, innovating and celebrating wins. Another one is Innovation Days, and excitingly, some of the first-blush ideas brought forth in past Innovation Days events showed up in more real forms at this Demo Day event. There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Shipt’s future, so stay tuned for more from us!