Hacker Day at Trustly

Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” and that certainly rang true at last week’s Hacker Day.

For the second time this year, Trustly employees put aside their everyday tasks and rolled up their sleeves to work on everything from a new product idea to a crazy pet project.

Anyone with a creative idea was given the opportunity to pitch their project to others ahead of Hacker Day, and after hearing all the pitches, employees could decide which project they wanted to work on. Throughout the week, teams started to form and by Thursday morning, the teams were itching to get hacking.

The idea of Hacker Day is to try out new concepts, ideas and technologies and to do it in a fun, cross-team environment. And while Hacker Days are generally associated with coding and developing, everyone from designers and salespeople to lawyers and accountants are encouraged to join.

“Sometimes when you work on the regular roadmap, you get bogged down in routines. Hacker Day gives us the opportunity to have fun and ignore all the boundaries,” said Niklas Persson, VP of Technology at Trustly. “It allows us to be creative and try out new technologies that we don’t regularly use. For example, one of our participants decided to work with Rust ‘just because it’s cool.’”

The previous Hacker Day yielded a lot of crazy ideas, like monitoring alarms for when the refrigerator runs out of Red Bull. This year, however, the projects were more focused on Trustly’s products.

In a demo session following Hacker Day, teams presented their projects, which included a transaction forecasting model, a system to track bank fees and several data visualizations. One team even produced a “Trustmap,” which highlights the country in which a transaction originates in real time. (Given that we process more than 3 million transactions per month, you can imagine it’s a busy map!)

“At heart, we are very much a tech company. But as the company grows, it can be easy to lose that technical focus and creativity. Hacker Day helps us stay true to our roots,” concluded Persson.

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