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Explaining Vax, our annual hack week

Once a year, the term "Vax" surfaces its head on our social media accounts and product blog. To avoid any confusion and provide clarity, the following is a brief overview (or Vaxplainer) of what exactly we're talking about. Get excited!

What is Vax?

Vax is the Vox Media product team's yearly all-hands hack week. Simply put, Vox + Hack = Vax

What is a hack week?

A hack week is an event in which developers, designers, product mangers, support and QA managers, and in our case, colleagues from across Vox Media's various teams outside of product spend a week in the same physical space working together to create software projects. It gives people the freedom to work on anything, without restriction, that normally wouldn't be included in regular day-to-day duties.

But where did it come from?

Vax originated from a simple idea by two former team members — Clif Reeder and Niv Shah. Their desire was to use professional development funds to organize an offsite hack week to work on projects different from their current area of focus with people outside their team.

Fast forward two years and Vax has transformed into an annual event that, in addition to product members, now includes folks from editorial, leadership and HR, all who offer valuable insights and skills that contribute to the success of Vax. We make new friends, discuss ideas, create useful tools and share knowledge — all of which are the overarching goals of our hack week.

Where does Vax take place?

We've previously held Vax in AustinDC and Philadelphia. This year, we're back in Philly again. Our spot this time around, CityCoHo, provides ample space for our growing team and allows for us to be comfortable while we hack.

So how can I follow the hacking?

Keep your browser open to our product blog, as we'll be posting daily. We're also tagging our shenanigans this year on social outlets with #vax15 so be sure to check there too. For a comprehensive history on Vax, see our blog posts from over the years.

I want in on the fun. What should I do?

Apply for a job. Seriously. Do it. We're continually looking for talented people that want to work with us, and we've got plenty of openings across all facets that make up Vox Media.

If you're looking to keep up to date with our adventures here on the Product Blog, and on Twitter or Instagram where you can follow the #VAX15 tag to join in on the adventure from afar.