Quack-IT Challenge FAQ

What is The Quack-IT Challenge?

The Quack-IT Challenge is a 24-hour challenge to University of Oregon IT staff to brainstorm, envision, design, and create technology innovations that will make UO capable of meeting its mission. Teams will have 24-hours to work on a project of their choosing. At the endo of the contest, teams will present their projects to a panel of judges, who will select the winner. 

When does The Quack-IT Challenge take place?

•    Wednesday, December 12, 3:00pm: event kick-off at Knight Library Browsing Room. 
•    Thursday, December 13, 3:00pm: project presentations and awards at Knight Library Browsing Room.

How large can a team be? 

There are no size limitations on teams. A team for example can be made up of just one individual or ten. (If you plan to register a team of more than ten, please contact Kristin Smith at klsmith@uoregon.edu.)

Who is eligible to participate in the Quack-IT Challenge? 

Any IT staff (temporary, classified, OA, NTTF, and IT student employee) is eligible to participate in the Quack-IT Challenge. However, IT managers (individuals who directly supervise the work of others including signing and approving performance reviews) are not eligible to compete.

What happens to an employees’ work while participating in The Quack-IT Challenge? 

While participating in the Quack-IT Challenge, employees’ work will be temporarily put on hold during that period. An employee’s supervisor should help to cover the work temporarily. 

If I am eligible for overtime/comp time will I be compensated for the additional hours I work for this event? 

Yes, if an employee is eligible for overtime/comp time they will be paid appropriately per collective bargaining agreements and overtime policies. 

Will I receive addition information regarding the process of recording overtime/comp time?

Yes, once participants have registered for the event and registration has closed, additional information will be sent out to those employees who are eligible for overtime/comp time.

Am I required to work on a project for the full 24-hours? 

No, a 24-hour period is available to work on projects, but participants are not required to work the full 24-hours. 

Will any projects/ideas that are presented be implemented? 

It is the hope that there will be several projects ready to implement as a result of the Quack-IT Challenge. Projects will be reviewed for potential implementation by the Information Services Leadership Team. 

There’s no obligation for Information Services to implement any of the projects. However, the challenge is a way of working together, generating ideas, and encouraging creativity that will make for a more rewarding work environment for all. 

Who will be presenting awards? 

The Provost and Senior Vice President, Jayanth Banavar, will be presenting awards on December 14, 2018.

Is it required that all IT staff participates in this event? 

Participation is highly recommended but voluntary. 

What if I don’t finish my project/idea within the 24-hour period? 

All participating teams must present their work, even if it didn’t generate the expected results or if the project was not able to be finished. 

Do I have to check in with my supervisor prior to signing up for The Quack-IT Challenge? 

Employees should seek permission from their supervisor prior to signing up for the Quack-IT Challenge. 

If I am unable to participate in the challenge are there other opportunities to get involved? 

Yes. You can volunteer to help the day of the event, or you could act as a presenter for one of the teams. The registration link will list different participation options. Volunteers will be compensated appropriately (if eligible) per collective bargaining agreements and overtime policies. 

I am not a programmer but want to submit a project. Does my project have to be around coding? 

No, projects can be anything IT-related and do not have to be focused on coding. Your project could be a web widget to solve a customer issue, an idea to improve an existing application, or an improvement to a process, procedure, or form. Examples of innovation challenge projects at other universities have included:

  • A new process for sending all new employees a welcome email with helpful information
  • Using a document management system to store contracts and manage their expiration dates
  • Creating a process to post downtime notifications to Twitter

Am I supposed to put this idea into production?

No, you should not put your idea into production or make any changes to excising applications, processes, or procedures. The Quack-IT Challenge is an event to develop ideas.

Is every member of a team required to present on the project during the awards ceremony? 

No, a team could elect a single person to be the spokesperson.