Once again, our beloved (virtual) Hackday took place. Since we were unable to meet at our office, we created an online event, resulting in some incredible ideas. Want to see what our Tech Team came up with? Let’s go!

What is a Hackday?

During Hackday, members of our software development team join their creative forces and work on anything they want to do that is related to coding but that is not a current InstaFreight work project or task. We specify a headline or a frame with some topics and let the team members create their own ideas. 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 Hackday?

This time, we had a very recent topic: “Remote, teamwork & communication”. With a focus on collaborative working – which is highly favorable in our organisation – we challenged some ideas.

Here is what the team came up with:

The release note generator

With every bug fix or release, there of course are notes to be released. 

In our weekly releases, the tech team updates the whole team with the so-called ‘release notes’ on new features and functionalities. How wonderful it would be if writing the release notes would be automated, right? The team of Ana, Andrejs, Anu and Caro set up the generator and even included a joke in every release to make it fun. Here is some fun from the past releases: 

  • Some animals in the zoo escaped. It’s otter chaos! 🐘
  • A hacker walks into a bar and orders a beer. And a Beer. And a BEER. And a b33r. And a bE3R. And a BeER…  🍻
  • I lost my mood ring. I don’t know how to feel about it.

A poker planner for Sprints Kick-Offs

The team of Erdem, Franzi, Marco and Hendrik handed in their project for a self-hosted, no signup beautiful tool for estimating story points during kick-offs in Sprint meetings. A story point is a metric used in agile project management and development to estimate the difficulty of implementing a given user story. It looks like a poker table, because the process itself is called Scrum or Planning poker – so there is a little gamification involved to make it a bit more interesting and fun. 

In-/out dashboard for Slack

Are my colleagues out or in today and able to be approached? Igor and Dakshina created a solution that shows the availability of colleagues. You enter the bot command and immediately see who is on/off directly displayed in Slack.

Mini virtual drinking game

How about drinking (water of course) in case you win? Checkmate. Olex, Nikoletta and Welling took it the other way around : you don’t drink if you lose, you drink if you win. You enter the virtual room and are asked to give a number from 1 to 6. The game begins! The dicer starts rolling. If you guessed right, you are allowed to drink and stay hydrated. 

Really great job on setting up different ideas! Some small but really cool features for the whole team have been implemented. 

As you can see, working in our Tech Team is pretty amazing! Want to be part of such a creative mix of people and join their next Hackday? Check out our current job vacancies here:  https://www.instafreight.com/talent