TomTom celebrates 20 years in navigation software with Hackathon in Łódź

TomTom summed up the second edition of the TomTom Hackathon, whose participants were the company’s software developers from around the world. This year, the theme of the event was 20 years in TomTom navigation software.


The programmers worked on 26 challenges. The winning team presented the project for modification of the main screen of TomTom mobile applications.

The first edition of the TomTom Hackathon was held last year in Berlin. This year, TomTom decided to organize the event at the National Center for Film Culture EC1 East in Łódź, Poland. During the Hackathon, 250 software developers, divided into 26 groups, worked on a range of challenges.


The participants were the employees of the Dutch brand from countries such as India, the USA, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland, as well as representatives of the companies Codility and Graphmasters, which cooperate with TomTom.


The marathon lasted a total of three days, beginning on December 12th with a speech by special guest Eric Bowman from Zalando. After the official opening, various challenges were presented. The next morning, the developers were divided into groups of 6-8 persons and started to work on their ideas.


“TomTom offers its employees many opportunities for development. Hackathon facilitates the acquisition of new knowledge and the exchange of experience. This is a perfect time for them to take a chance and use experimental solutions that can contribute to the development of our products and the creation of unique designs,” says Heiko Schilling, Fellow and Vice President, Navigation, TomTom.

The challenges were focused on interesting and unusual proposals for an approach toward the topic in terms of the following categories: code quality, showcase, performance, improvement etc. The tasks were aimed at introducing innovative solutions to the existing TomTom products and processes based on the navigation engine.


The challenges consisted in the creation of new features, accelerating the existing ones, removing the inconvenience, streamlining software development process, the creation of new products, and the integration with other products. The software engineers had 24 hours to work on their challenges. They could relax in the chill out rooms, watched the motivational videos from TomTom founders, listened to an interactive Spotify playlist and played awesome retro games in the special zone.


The third day was TomTom Day, a day long event for all TomTom Lodz employees, with series of presentations and guest speaker Jurgen Appelo, author of the book Management 3.0 and Managing for Happiness. At TomTom Day the results of the Hackathon were announced.

The winners were voted by their peer group, all participants got the opportunity to vote for the winner. The developers voted for the proposals submitted by other groups, and so the winners were chosen. The team, who proposed the most interesting project come from different countries (Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the USA, Great Britain and the Netherlands).

They worked on the challenge “Mobile NavApp Homescreen.” The winners presented the project for modification of the main screen of the TomTom mobile applications, adapting it to the highest world standards, so that it is more intuitive and easier to reception to end users.


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