That piece of code that is just disgusting and a pain to use.
That workflow that drives you nuts but nobody's ever sat down to improve it.
That language or framework that you think will make your work easier but aren't sure.
Learning about different parts of our stack.
Learning something that is beneficial to your career/edX that is non-code related.
Culture hacking +1
Personal education +1
With how you build
With what you build
With who you work with
With who you build for (maybe Support or the PCs or other devs?)
Make a V0 of a feature that you're going to throw away.
Doing sprint work as your hackathon project
Doing no work
doesn't have to be off a backlog
or maybe it's somewhere in the middle of the backlog and you want to do it NOW
can work with folks from other teams
or by yourself
you are in charge
Is there a tool we already use that you could connect to another tool we already use?
consider Slack, Jira, github, Travis, Splunk, New Relic...
Is there data you already have access to, that you could use to drive something interesting?
Check out our data warehouse: Snowflake
It has a copy of all our prod data and a visualization tool built in!
Is there an external API you're interested in poking around in?
Checkout http://courses.edx.org/api-docs/ for some ideas of what you have access to.
other common open APIs-- Google Search etc.
Are there PCs or Support folks whose workflows could be improved?
The Current support tool MFE came out of a hackathon to make supports life easier by pulling all the data they need into one place!
What are manual processes at edx that could be automated?
consider getting devstack set up before hackathon starts!