Last week our tech team had another Hackday, which, given the current situation, took place virtually rather than in-person at the office. Many people are probably wondering what a Hackday even is and what it means. So, learn all about it here…

What is a Hackday?

During Hackday, members of the tech team can work on anything they want to that is related to coding but that is not a current InstaFreight work project or task. This gives everyone the opportunity to code or learn something new, instead of following their regular daily work schedule or continuing to work on outstanding tasks. It is their time to think outside the box…

Why did we implement Hackdays?

Humans in general are creatures of habit but did you know that routines can kill creativity?! That is one of the major reasons why we have implemented Hackdays. Our tech department is constantly working on big projects, resolving tickets and focusing on main projects. Even though tasks always change, people can quickly fall into a fixed work routine. We realize that it’s important to follow structure but not too much structure. So our Hackdays allow employees to completely focus on something new they are passionate about to help them carry out their most creative thinking. Whatever it may be they want to work on, this is the day to do it!  

What happened during this quarter’s Hackday?

During every Hackday, the Techies come up with exciting new projects and ideas, which they get to present to their colleagues at the end of the day. Here are the things they worked on this time:

  • Appility: This is a project that was started on Hackday in February and this time Thilina worked on the frontend/client side. Through this platform interviewers can conduct online coding tests. 
  • Style Checker: Oleks decided to work on a tool that applies our new code style standards (for PHP) to PHP CodeSniffer. Cool idea! 
  • Drivers App: Three software engineers worked together on migrating the mobile InstaFreight Drivers app to react native. Erdem, who joined the team in February said the prototype they coded helped him learn more about our API and Prasad mentioned that he gained a better understanding about the navigation in a mobile app.
  • Form Validation Enhancement: Emin, Yaro and Franziska added functionality to API forms to be able to validate form fields separately. This will be very helpful for organizing the new API-centric architecture of one of their projects.
  • Google Forms Process Optimisation: Even a group of product managers participated in the Hackday, which shows once more that you do not have to be a software engineer to code and you can still impress your colleagues with newly gained skills 😉  They worked on optimising the Google Forms process by making inbox Google Forms assign unique IDs to each incoming request and sending back the request owner a copy of his/her request with an ID and date.    
  • InstaTimer: Anu, Andrejs and Ana coded a timer to help our daily standup meetings to not be too long. Try it out for yourself: https://github.com/andrejs/instaTimer

Although this virtual Hackday was quite different, all in all, it was a success! The Techies came up with new ideas and let their creativity run wild. So many exciting projects and learnings… We can’t wait for the next Hackday & if you also want to become an InstaFreight Techie, apply now!

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