Molly Buccini

Matt Kaplan is the the senior editor on our technology desk in Chicago – and he’s bringing his tech savvy to the rest of the teams at Brafton – in the form of a hackathon.

Matt admits he wasn’t nearly as acquainted with the ins and outs of the tech industry before he started working at Brafton in 2012. Now, data centers, cloud computing and cybersecurity are “are things I know more about than I ever thought possible.”

It’s because of this subject matter expertise and the advancement in his career that Matt thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a new project that could positively impact all of Brafton: The first-ever Brafton Hackathon.

“In most hackathons, software and app developers have a limited amount of time to come up with something totally brand new,” he said. “The Brafton Hackathon involved no coding – the main thought process behind the event was to see what kind of positive, problem-solving ideas folks here at Brafton could come up. The teams that participated had to come up with really interesting and innovative ideas in less than an hour..”

The result?

“It was interesting to see was how the teams, which consisted all of people from different internal departments, would come together and form ideas based on their different experiences,” he said. “When you get that many smart people in a room thinking positively about the company and where we are headed, you’re bound to come out of it with great ideas that can make an immediate impact on our operations and how we help clients.”

“I work with amazing, talented people. It amazes me every day the quality of writing everyone on the Tech desk can produce day in and day out.”

The event was so well received, Vice President of Content Francis Ma said it will be implemented later on this year in the Boston office as well. 

“I want to thank Matt for coming up with this idea and essentially bringing it to life,” Francis said. “I thought it was a great evening of brainstorming and felt really nice to talk openly about a lot of topics. I love the idea of doing a regular Hackathon throughout the year.”

Learn more about Matt in our Brafton Q&A:

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was in elementary school I wanted to be a football player, but then I realized I was far too short and near sighted for that to become a reality. I’ve always liked storytelling and the written word, though.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality needed for success?

This is kind of a loaded question. It depends on how you quantify success and what you’re trying to be successful in. Patience and persistence always help me, though.

Q: What do you value most in a job?

I’m definitely someone who likes new challenges in a job. I really like when I can expand my skill sets and learn while tackling something I haven’t experienced before. But, with that being said, I also do my best when I have a clearly designed endpoint and KPIs.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

Probably my bike. I’ve had it since I was 12 and I still use it to get just about everywhere, including to and from the office.

Q: Which day of the work week are you the most productive?

Probably Mondays, surprisingly enough. A lot of people work from home on Mondays, so it’s nice and quiet in the office.

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Matt and his teammates at Cisco Live in San Francisco.
Matt and his teammates at Cisco Live in San Francisco.

I work with amazing, talented people. It amazes me every day the quality of writing everyone on the Tech desk can produce day in and day out. This job also always keeps me on my toes.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I prefer to judge my existence by quality experiences as opposed to reaching milestones.

Q: Have any “hidden talents”?

I’m very good at ensuring food doesn’t go to waste, which is a real talent in my book. I can also solve a Rubik’s cube in under three minutes, which I at least think is impressive, and I play the washboard.

Q: If Brafton were a TV show, which character – from any sitcom, drama or reality show (of any time period) – would represent you?

I honestly couldn’t say. I don’t really identify that closely with the characters in the few shows I watch.

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