Last week we took a break from the projects we usually work on to host our first internal hackathon at the Duolingo Galactic HQ and to explore new ideas together. For 27 hours straight, small teams of up to 3 people worked on whatever they wanted as long as it related to our mission of bringing free language education to the world. It was a chance to create some of the ideas for products that we always wanted, but never had time to execute in our day-to-day jobs. Duolingo’s engineers, designers, and language experts all worked together to make some awesome stuff, and at the end of the day, we had some amazing prototypes.
Here’s a rundown of what you might see spawned from some of these ideas:
- Practice listening and writing through watching movie trailers on YouTube. Listen to a 6 second segment and write the translation.
- Flashcards! An app that generates cards from your Duolingo vocabulary.
- Review what you just learned. After answering the last challenge in a lesson, you can go back to see the feedback on every exercise (including typos, missed accents, etc.). Questions that you get wrong appear red in the progress bar so that you can quickly view your mistakes.
- Race head to head with one of your friends. See which of your friends are currently online, request a race, and (assuming they accept) simultaneously get put into an identical timed practice session. As you progress through the session, you can see a live scoreboard of their correct and incorrect answers, allowing you to compete and try to achieve the most points in the shortest amount of time. A winner is announced after both users have completed the session.
- Practice what you know through chat. A chatbot where you can practice specific words learned in a skill.
These projects and a whole lot more were made at the inaugural Duolingo Hackathon. We can’t wait to add some of these ideas to Duolingo soon! We plan on making this a regular event, every quarter.