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PayScale HackDay v0.7


What Is PayScale HackDay?

Once per quarter, the product development, data, and analytics teams all block off our calendars and get together in one big room. Fueled by doughnuts, pizza, coffee, and (later in the afternoon) beer, we build something that isn't on anyone's agenda other than our own.

Here is what everyone built.

Adding some spice to Your Salary Reports

Joe wanted to add a little more interactivity to the apps* in the “Your Salary Reports” section. The model with our apps has been: let our software pick the most interesting charts and display those to you. We still respect that model, but he added the ability to search for charts that may be interesting to you.

* – apps are what we call the different report areas in the “Your Salary Reports” section.

Do You Know What You're Worth?


Trello to Excel

Eve and Geary work in Trello a lot, and they do their feature prioritization there. The way Trello is set up, it isn’t easy to share your list of features with non-team members (like sales managers, and the like). So Eve wrote a tool to download the features and share them in Excel.

  • The tool is a cmd line tool that takes in a Board ID (which you can get from the URL within Trello) and a User Token.
  • The export pulls all Lists for a given card and exports each list to a separate spreadsheet within Excel.
  • The excel worksheet includes Card Titles, Card Descriptions, Trello card hyperlinks and Card Labels. Data is also formatted using Excel 14 Library.

You should be able to find it on the PayScale GitHub shortly.


Job Satisfaction Module + hReview-Aggregate

My initial project turned out to be a near-total failure, so at the end of the day, I switched gears and worked on my the-day-is-salvageable project. The first part of my project was adding a Job Satisfaction module for each job page in the Research Center. The second part was that I added a written description of the Job Satisfaction rating (instead of just 4/5 smiley-faces), and used the hReview-Aggregate microformat to markup the review… so Google can understand how satisfied in this job people are.


Researching Employer Websites

Barnaby started work on a project to figure out how to use remote workers (mturk via crowdflower) to find the homepage for employers that we want to include in our Research Center. Having the link to an employer is a really great starting place for us to find out more about each of these employers… and then publish that information on the Research Center.


Measuring “Mutual Information” for Pay Correlation

Ryan worked on a project that is slightly over my head. But basically, Ryan is measuring the entropy between two variables to see how correlated they are (or, how uncorrelated they are). This is good, because Mutual Information does not assume linearity and will not be artificially small in these cases as would be the situation with correlation and linear regression.


Legends of PayScale

Kayla was working on sharpening her Python skills, so she worked on a text adventure game exploring the PayScale office. Beware, if you head in the wrong direction… you run into me (and get +10 despair). If you’d like to play, it will be on the PayScale GitHub shortly.


Responsive Research Center

Perry worked on responsive design in the Research Center. We’ve started down the path of making more of the site mobile-friendly by making it responsive.

NAICS Descriptions

We’ve wanted to include the North American Industry Classification System‘s descriptions of Industries for a while, but they don’t have it in an easily machine readable format. David’s project iterated over industries and grabbed the description from the page on that industry. Here is a little screenshot of his Python in action.

NAICS Screen Scraper

Yammer –> Exchange Pictures

PayScale uses Yammer for a lot of our internal communication and organization. PayScale also uses Exchange/Outlook for email. So Geary’s project was to extract everyone’s photos from Yammer, and loading them into Exchange, so we’d be able to see each other’s pictures when we email.

Screen Shot 2012-09-25 at 4.41.06 PM

Internal Tool Improvements

John, our IT manager, wanted to play with some new tools. The first one, he was trying out: dotProject. It’s a really great looking project management tool. After playing with it for a day or two, we decided that it didn’t do what we wanted to do though.

PayScale’s internal wiki is powered by MoinMoin, and has been since the beginning of the PayScale epoch. We are happy with the basic functionality, but we’ve never played with the add-ons that are available. So, John spent some time trying to make some of those add-ons work. He didn’t finish, but he promises he will.

Screen Shot 2012-09-24 at 9.52.42 AM


Kurt, our newest IT team agent, decided to catch up on the latest in web technologies, and played around with HTML5.

Screen Shot 2012-09-24 at 5.08.44 PM

Sass-y Fail

Alex was working on integrating Sass into our workflow. But, he was hampered by weird firewall rules and limited workarounds. He wasn’t able to finish the project 🙁

That’s All

That’s everything! I think. If you have any questions, just let us know and we’ll expand on (almost) anything.

Adam Phillabaum
Read more from Adam

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