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Hack-a-Thon v. 9.0

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The Zappos API team held the 9th Hack-a-thon event from December 12-16th. The theme was “Do it Live”, which meant each team was encouraged to try and have their project accessible to the intended users by the end of the week.

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In the end, seven teams accomplished this challenge. In addition to the Hack-a-Thon, the Zappos API team hosted a public “Hack-a-thon Hack-a-long” contest open to any non Zappos developer that ran for the duration of the Hackathon.

Zappos.com IOS Updates!

Hi folks! We've been keeping busy here in the mobile team and wanted to feature our most recent 2.2 release because it has quite a few enhancements that make this a pretty awesome release for both our iPhone and iPad app. The first thing you'll notice when you download the updated 2.2 release from the App Store is an updated homescreen on the iPhone. We've added some of the look of the regular Zappos.com website, added quicker category browsing and simplified things a bit overall. You'll also notice that when you login we'll recognize that you're a VIP!

As you start searching and filtering, you'll find that more categories and relevant subcategories are available to you than before. This should make finding what you're looking for much easier. Once you've found that product, take a look at our images and we've included high-res images where you can pinch and zoom to get a better look. Finally, if you want to share this product, we're leveraging iOS 5's native Twitter integration to allow you to tweet an image and link to the product you're viewing (additionally you can share via email or text message).

Definitely a cool release, so what are you waiting for? Get the newest Zappos iPad app HERE! :)

Here's Nolan O'Brien, a mobile engineer on our team, to go over the features in this quick video:

Sincerely,

Alex Kirmse - Mobile Team

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Zapponian Spotlight: Nick P.

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Our Zapponian Spotlight for the week is the Grillmeister AKA Nick P. from Zappos IP. He's a fan of all things barbeque and bacon related and has been to probably more Phish concerts than he can even remember.

Read on to his Q&A to learn a little bit more about Nick:

Pick 3 words to describe your personal style:

N: Sexy Lumberjack Chic

Who is your favorite musician or band?:

N: Phish. I love the music, but not a fan of the smelly hippies. HAHA.

Name 3 things you never leave home without:

N: Cell phone, wallet, sunglasses.

If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be?

N: Tom Robbins – I would love to find out how someone can be that creative in their writing.

What’s the weirdest thing to ever happen to you?:

N: Hmmm well tons of weird things happen to me as I’ve been to over 60 Phish concerts. Let’s go with the most recent. I had an elderly man flag me down on a street corner last week. He just wanted a ride to CVS to meet his friend and get some medicine but his wife was sleeping and wouldn’t take him so he attempted to walk. He said he got tired and started trying to flag people down for a ride; he told me I was the only one who stopped. I dropped the old man off at CVS and wished him the best. George, if you’re reading this, hope your wife woke up and you got a ride home!

What’s your favorite part about working at Zappos HQ?:

N: Coming in everyday and having different things happen. There is never a dull day here at Zappos, the work is always interesting and so are the people. I’ve made some lifelong friends here; I can’t say that about any other job I’ve had.

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The Webby Awards People's Voice Best Navigation/Structure

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We would like to thank everyone who voted for us for the Webby Awards People’s Voice Best Navigation/Structure! We're very honored to receive this great recognition and to be among the other great companies who were nominated.

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We Are Nominated For 2 Webby Awards!

We are so thankful to be nominated for two awards at the 15th Annual Webby Awards presented by AOL! There are so many fantastic companies, apps, sites and campaigns that are being recognized as the best-of-the-best on the web. We are nominated for "Best Retail Marketplace" and "Best Navigation/Structure" this year. 

Join us in supporting all of these web innovators by heading over and placing your votes HERE and be sure you tune in to the live broadcast on June 15th! 

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What's Tech Working On?

New Classification tool streamlines the merchandising experience...

Before a product goes live on our site, the merchandising team must classify it. Previously, this process was excruciatingly slow and inefficient. This made it difficult for merchandisers to get products to our customers…and we certainly don’t want that.

Now, thanks to Dean Curtis and the catalog department, the classification process is 90x faster overall than the original. In cases where products had many styles, it could take an hour or more to classify. But with the new tool, this same task can be accomplished in minutes.

The project started out initially to simply improve the 1.0 version of the tool. The team decided instead to go with a complete re-write.  The project took 3 months and the combined talent of all 5 members of the catalog team.  The development process was complicated further by almost constant attacks from the neighboring dev horde. It was only through teamwork, stamina, and high-castle walls that they were able to deliver this project to the waiting public.

The Catagorians, as they like to be called, border the UX team territory in the 2290 building. Come by the castle and say “Hi!” anytime!

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Zappos IP, Inc. Is Looking For "A Few Good Developers"

Zappos IP, Inc. is hiring developers , development jobs in SF LV

This quarter’s Tech All Hands meeting was a rousing success! In addition to covering all of the new and exciting work that’s gone on in the past several months like:

Zappos.com iPad and iPhone Apps went live!- Customers can now shop on their iPhones and iPads as well as their computers and our 1-800 number.

Public API! - We launched our public API (http://developer.zappos.com) that allows the developer community to build their own applications with Zappos data.Zappos uses the API inhouse to power our mobile apps as well as various functions throughout the actual website.

Sizing Project Completed! - Reinvented how product measurement data is stored and processed to make it easier than ever to find the perfect fit for nearly any type of product.

And celebrating the team’s successes with awards, acknowledgements, and drinks like:
Grey Goose shots
Tequila shots
More Grey Goose shots

Everyone’s favorite CTO, Arun (pictured above),announced that Zappos IP, Inc. will be opening an office in SF. Will Young will be heading up the new office and had this to say:

“We are very excited to be opening up a small San Francisco office.  We’re jazzed to go back to the Zappos Family's Bay Area roots and surround ourselves by the many amazing people and companies who make the world a happier place through technology, arts and culture. The San Francisco office in some ways will be a mini-start-up within the Zappos Family.  Our office is going to focus on experimentation, incubation and off roadmap projects.  We will want to try a lot of fun and new zany things that might become the future of how people shop online or may end up in the huge pile of unused ideas “that sounded good at the time”.  We’re eager to work and partner with great Bay Area companies to really put out some WOW.”

We were entertained along the way with videos and skits covering everything from hunting bears (don’t ask) to “Zappos Next Live Model” featuring men in drag (you may not want to watch it).  But by far, the favorite video of the night featured a rendition of a well-known and loved scene from “A Few Good Men.” Check out our version below.

Everyone is super excited about the great work the team has done in 2010 and looking forward to 2011.  We are looking for “A Few Good Developers” to join both our Las Vegas and SF teams. And by “a few” we mean a lot!!!!! Check out all of the tech openings HERE