Return of the hack!

Twice a year we host a company-wide ‘hack days’ event, but this time we almost didn’t! Thanks to the Beast from the East it became more of a snow day than a hack day.

After a few of days of blizzards, we eventually managed to dig ourselves out of the snow and hike our way back in to our Edinburgh office. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of hack days - also known as a hackathon - it’s when a whole company takes a couple of days off from its usual work, splits into teams, and works together to build and finish mini projects.

Our projects this season were as varied and fantastic as ever, despite the snow! Highlights included a prototype for recording a mileage claim in FreeAgent simply by chatting with your Alexa, some beautiful new space-themed animations for our customer onboarding journey, as well as first drafts of some really helpful new product videos from our support team. Down to business though, which projects scooped the prizes?

Founders' Award 🏅

'Making Tax Digital' Integration

The highly coveted founders' award went to Anup, Cedric, Dave, George and Tom for creating an integration with HMRC’S test Making Tax Digital APIs. If that’s left you scratching your head, then an API is just a way for one website to plug into another, and Making Tax Digital is HMRC’s plan to revolutionise and digitise the UK’s tax system! This integration would potentially allow a user to pull information from HMRC - such as their state pension income, employment income and, state benefits -into their FreeAgent account. Smart stuff!

The MTD API team hard at work!

Best Presentation 🏆

FreeAgent mobile app video ad

A short video ad for the FreeAgent mobile app scooped the best presentation award! Tom and Mete from our comms team showcased a punchy little short, which featured a tour of all the wild and wonderful places you could do your bookkeeping with our app! Expense tracking on a rollercoaster anyone? This presentation also scored very highly on the verified FreeAgent Applause-o-meter™, so well done Tom and Mete!

Tom and Mete's rollercoaster video!

People’s Choice Award 🏅

Mobile invoicing app

Last but definitely not least, the audience’s favourite project for this round of hack days was Ioan’s mobile invoicing app prototype! This standalone app would let you create invoices on the go, and then easily customise them by tapping on the part of the invoice you’d like to edit. Once finished, you could save the invoice as a PDF, or export it wherever you please. Not bad for just a couple days work from a one-man team - congrats Ioan!

Ioan's iPhone app hack days project

Snow-ver and out ⛄️

That’s all for this “spring” edition of hack days at FreeAgent (brrrr!). We’ll catch you again in October when hopefully the weather will be a lot kinder -let’s see what we can come up with then!

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