Target’s CodeRED Hack – a daylong hackathon open to all Target team members to work on projects to introduce, improve or enhance products or services used by Target – is always an energizing day, but the most recent event was special.

CodeRED Hack 1

Target Plaza Commons filled up with engineers pretty early in the morning. Teams presented several new ideas, from a Chrome plug-in that helps easily visualize Git issues with high activity to a machine learning-based API that can identify login pages that are phishing attempts.

My favorite was a new design and prototyping tool based on Framer X that allows users to pull in react components into the application and convert them into drag-and-drop design elements. Target has a design system called Nicollet that provides all UI elements for in React components. The team pulled code from Nicollet into Framer X in order to show how we can quickly build prototypes by repurposing the code from Nicollet. Another favorite was a front-end application with a map to visualize and filter contacts flowing into our technical support contact center from across the country backed by a Node.js/Express application to process and retrieve data.

CodeRED Hack 7

What stood out for me during last week is how far we’ve come in our journey to enable the “Midnight Developer.” Teams were able to use Praxis, our internal React framework and the Target Application Platform backed by our API Platform and Data as a Service to stand up applications rapidly. Engineers started the day with just an idea and ended it with a fully functional MVP working in cross-functional teams. The one thing that they did not have to worry about – infrastructure! We are definitely changing the way developers consume infrastructure at Target. This is one more step – a giant leap, perhaps – toward transforming “3,000 really good software engineers to 3,000 innovators!”

Amaresh Siva is vice president, cloud and compute, at Target.