Throughout last year I had the opportunity to participate and collaborate on multiple research initiatives in the field of Natural Language Generation (NLG) in addition to my responsibilities as a Data Scientist at trivago. NLG is the process of automatically generating text from either text and/or non-linguistic data inputs. Some NLG applications include chatbots, image captioning, and report generation. These are application areas of high interest internally within trivago as we seek to leverage our rich data environment to enrich the user experience with potential NLG applications.
Twice a year, the trivago software developers gather to have a 2 day internal hackathon. This December saw another round of ambitious creativity, relaxed atmosphere, and good food :-)
One of our core values at trivago is fanatic learning. A great way to learn and expand your knowledge is to creatively try new technologies, or to apply well known technologies to new situations, without having to pay attention to a strict schedule or deadline. Exactly that is what roughly 120 engineers were doing on the first Thursday and Friday in December: It was internal hackathon time, meaning each developer could spend two entire days on their own projects as he or she saw fit.