Rocket.Build 2021 is online and ready to serve

Final Round coding: Monday, October 18 - Friday, October 22

2021 is a year for looking ahead. In 2020, we adapted our annual Rocket.Build hackathon into a virtual event that set records for participation. We saw the difference a virtual format made in bringing Rocketeers, customers, and partners together to collaborate, so we’re doing it again!

Rocketeers, our customers and partners—and now university students—are invited to take part in Rocket.Build 2021 Virtual. Rocket.Build isn’t just a chance to flex your coding and creativity. Networking with fellow experts and Rocketeers; time devoted to start and finish a project; and one-of-a-kind experience to add to your professional repertoire are only some of the perks. 

Dear IBMers:

Come code with us! Meet more of the Rocketeers you work with every day and team up for unique projects you can’t experience anywhere else.

Dear Students:

This is your chance to grow your professional network and the skillsets you’ll need to jump start your careers after school. Develop your resume—and yourselves—with mentorship from the experts at Rocket Software as a team member for a project.

#BeLegendary for this year's themes

We want to help customers and partners #BeLegendary in everything that they do, and Rocket.Build is the best place to make it happen. This year’s themes center on fostering excellence in our markets, products, and workplace community. 

Lead Markets

Don’t just be in our markets, but lead in
our markets

Love Products

We won’t just deliver products; We will deliver products that we are proud of and that our customers LOVE

Great Place Work

Make Rocket a
GREAT place to work

One of our biggest initiatives in 2020 was helping customers build the strength to survive, grow, compete, and win under difficult circumstances. In 2021, we take this idea a step further, challenging Rocket.Builders to be undisputed leaders in our markets and always deliver with the highest performance.

"Love" is already a familiar word in our Rocket vocabulary. As one of our four Core Values, it’s as natural to us as breathing. This year, it will inspire Rocketeers to passionately approach projects that will make a difference in the lives of our customers and partners.

Diversity initiatives, volunteering programs, trainings and workshops, department movie nights; we want to hear ideas for anything that makes Rocketeers excited and proud to wake up and sign in for work every day.

Get inspired by these project ideas:

Hybrid Cloud

  • Enabling our solutions to be natively cloud enabled 


  • Operational excellence in AI


  • Build security into the product (Don't bolt on it)
  • Implement secure communication, token-based authentication, encrypted credential storage, & more
  • Auditing & Compliance: Protect against threats

RedHat OpenShift

  • Containerization
Get inspired by these project ideas:

First 60 days of bliss

  • Improve UX experience so customers are delighted the first 60 days

Proactive: Preventing "fire-fighting" altogether

  • Diagnostic tools
  • Internal data collection
  • Feature usage
  • Self-healing
Get inspired by these project ideas:

(RIDE) initiatives

  • Increase diversity
  • Celebrate cultural differences

Work from home

  • New mechanisms for remote team bonding
  • Staying connected
  • Collaboration initiatives

Rules and Registration

Project or volunteer registration

Registration is now closed. Thank you for a new record number of project submissions!

Team requirements

Round 1: Minimum of 2* members and a maximum of 4 members per project
Round Finals: Requires team of 4* members
* this may include a volunteer, student, customer or partner

Welcome to the Final Round

Ensure that all team members block off the time on their Outlook calendars and set up out-of-office replies so they can have uninterrupted time to build. Be sure to hold Monday, Oct 18 - Friday, Oct 22 for five full days of participation: coding and presenting!

Coding & building

Teams are expected to use the allotted three full days, local time:
Monday, Oct 18
Wednesday, Oct 20

  • All participants: Clear your schedule for five full days of Rocket.Build participation
  • Set up an auto reply that you are unavailable during these days to set expectations
  • Chosen judging times will relate to the region in which the project TEAM LEADER is located

Teams will be using WebEx and Slack channels for communication.

Judging process

Judging sessions will take place Thursday, Oct 21 - Friday, Oct 22.

Specific session calendar invites will be sent out to all teams by Monday, Oct 18.

Each team will have 3 minutes to present. A Rocket.Build 2021 PowerPoint template will be provided and should be used for your presentation. Only 1 person from each team will speak/present to minimize time and risk of connection problems. The use of videos in your presentation is strongly discouraged.

All presentations will be recorded and shared with the rest of Rocket at a later date.

Judging is based on the following components:
  • How close is the project to this year’s themes?
  • Is it clear what customer/business problem was solved?
  • Is it clear who is the target user?
  • How well does the project solve a critical problem, or how well does it enable a new capability?
  • How close is the project to being ready for the Finals, ultimately becoming a feature or product?
Each component will be judged on the following scale from 1-5:
  1. not at all
  2. somewhat
  3. on target
  4. quite well/quite clear/quite close
  5. 100% yes


To be announced

As always, if you have any questions, you can reach out to us [email protected].