Ever since I joined Aircall, it has been a rollercoaster ride. One of my most memorable experiences so far was when I got the opportunity to be a part of a virtual hackathon experience during my first month at Aircall.
Hackathons are an exciting time in an engineering team’s life. The surreal energy encourages innovation, collaboration, and team bonding. The great food and rewards keep everyone energized and motivated. Unique technical ideas and solutions come to life in a span of three days, which would otherwise take months to deliver. Such is the magic of engineering hackathons.
Winning a hackathon event should be on the bucket list of every software engineer. But what happens when you’re only a month into your role at a remote organization?
Team-building and idea generation
Initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate. I was new, I didn’t know many people, and I didn’t know our product well enough. How would I contribute to any team’s idea?
I can say with confidence that I made the right call by joining Aircall after this Hackathon. Our managers, being the supportive leaders that they are, helped us form teams and brainstorm ideas. I am a part of the Integrations Ecosystem team in India. We formed a five-member team, and our idea was titled CallInProgress.
Our team’s idea was a chat application, which would be embedded in an Integration like Intercom, where an agent can collect contact details of customers and connect with them later to follow up on customer queries.
We implemented this over a course of three days, working remotely with our favorite takeout food sponsored by Aircall. It’s amazing what we can achieve in such a short time frame when we are focused and motivated (not to mention that the prizes for winning teams were pretty great).
All in all, 26 teams presented 26 unique ideas. Each team had five minutes to present their idea. During the presentations, I got to see amazing ideas that added so much value to Aircall’s business, plus I also got a chance to understand so many different areas of Aicall’s product. Gaining this much insight into a new organization within the first month wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else. After nearly three hours, the judges chose the top three ideas as the winners.
Announcing the Winners
1. An idea that promotes inclusivity
At Aircall, our mission is to create solutions that promote inclusivity. Accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with or access to software on the web.
Many people experience hearing loss in different severities, meaning that their personal experience is suboptimal during a phone call (e.g., missing words, hard to understand, effortful). Aircall can help!
Aircall users will have a new accessibility feature that will allow people experiencing hearing loss to apply their hearing profile and personalize the Aircall phone audio to match it.
The top-ranking team was able to build a solution called SayWhat?, which adjusts the sound for each ear according to configured values. They were able to“fix” a manipulated audio that mimics how a person who is hard of hearing gets the sound. This fix happens in real time without sensible CPU overhead.
2. An idea that guarantees satisfaction
In order to build a successful business, not only do you need a great product but you also need a product that evolves with the user’s needs.
This is where customer satisfaction plays an important role. Customer satisfaction is a gauge of how happy customers are with a company’s products, services, and capabilities.
The team that ranked second designed a Satisfaction module that allows agents to send surveys to a customer in one click on the phone app. Surveys can be sent either by Email or SMS.
3. An idea that just clicks
The team that took third place solved a specific problem that many end users faced.
Currently, in the number’s audio setting modal, users can choose to upload custom audio to personalize an audio message. To do that, the user needs to record it in a recording app, convert it to mp3 format in a converter app, and finally upload it into the dashboard, which is time-consuming. The user needs to repeat this process for different types of messages and music every time they configure a number.
The Click and Record solution helps users record audio in the Aircall app, saving time and app switching. A dedicated page in the dashboard helps to manage all the recorded or uploaded audio. It also allows for custom playlists with different types of audio, which can be applied to a number for each type of message like welcome messages, unanswered messages, after-hour messages, etc.
These were just the top three ideas that won awesome prizes. The Aircall Hackathon was a splendid success, and I am in awe of our inspiring innovators.