What is CodeBlitz?
Here at Tyro, we recognise that you can’t spend 40 hours a week working on a product without having your own bright ideas about how that product might be improved or utilised in different ways. And while our engineers are encouraged to bring an innovative mindset to the way that they design and implement our product roadmap, we also want to provide them with the opportunity to showcase their own product ideas to the wider company.
To cater for this, three times a year, we hold “CodeBlitz”, an innovation sprint inspired by Atlassian’s ShipIt Days. CodeBlitz gives our engineers a day and a half to develop a working prototype of their own idea, after which they have three minutes to present and demo their idea to the entire engineering team. Votes are cast, and the five ideas with the highest number of votes are presented to the entire company. A panel made up of people from around the organisation then gets together to decide the winner.
Not only does CodeBlitz give an outlet for ideas to be brought to life, it also provides an opportunity to learn and experiment with technologies that our engineers may not be using in
their day-to-day work. And on top of all that, it’s a lot of fun! There’s a remarkable level of energy and focus surrounding the engineering team as everyone is working on their individual projects, but there’s also an overarching feeling of camaraderie and cooperation. Everyone wants to win, but even more than that – and this fact is a credit to our team – everyone wants each of their peers to do well.
Last month we held our fourth CodeBlitz. This time, many teams focussed on mobile payment solutions, with projects including:
- Payments using a smartwatch
- Digital receipts on mobile devices
- Tipping using mobile apps
- Payments using a mobile wallet.
Other interesting product ideas included:
- Payment geotracking for fraud detection
- Business metrics for merchants
- An app for ordering terminal paper
- A portal for managing recurring payments.
We encourage exploration of ideas related to our products and core services, but we don’t object to engineers looking at ideas aimed at improving our internal processes. There was a handful of such projects, including an IDE plugin for monitoring our build health, and a utility that produced graphical dumps of our terminal screens during our automated tests.
Congratulations to Trent and Carl, the winners of CodeBlitz IV, who used some lateral thinking to create and implement a time tracking and payroll system using our terminals. As CodeBlitz champions, they each receive a t-shirt, gain bragging rights, and have their names forever inscribed into the annals of Tyro CodeBlitz history.