We recently discussed Hackdays, one of the many initiatives Montoux implements in order to keep our growing team (now spread across four countries) curious, enthusiastic, and collaborative. While Hackdays have plenty of benefits for our own culture and team, it also has numerous benefits for our customers, both directly and indirectly.
One of our core missions at Montoux is to ensure our customers are incredibly successful and receive clear and consistent value through their Montoux implementation. Our day-to-day activities are constantly circling around improving our products and services in order to maintain this mission and make it a reality. Hackday, however, represents something slightly different.
As we touched on before, Hackday is a day when every member of our team takes a break from their daily activities, breaks rank, and forms teams with members from across our organization to create something new. It’s a chance for us to push our limits, experiment with new ideas, and collaborate with colleagues we wouldn’t normally work with. It’s also a chance to rethink how we serve our customers.
“Sometimes we might lose sight of how what we do relates to our customers, particularly when we don't interact directly with them. Hackday gives everyone an opportunity to reflect on how what they do directly impacts our customers, and get creative about how we improve ourselves for them,” says Hackday organizer and software engineer Glen Peek.
Montoux works hard to maintain a high-energy, talented, and collaborative team. While curiosity and experimentation are easy to find in most startups, holding on to those ideals, and all the benefits that come with them, can be challenging as a company scales. Hackday is one of the ways Montoux works to ensure that creative spark stays alive within our team, pushing ourselves to be better, more creative, and constantly on the hunt to improve our products for customers.
While we’ve only hosted three Hackdays so far, there have already been fantastic outcomes for customers. Some examples include a secure file sharing platform we call Nextcloud, a sign-in bot just in case a customer ever comes to visit (appropriately named Dingdong), and a client/server split.
Last April, during another Hackday, software engineer Jack Robinson started a new client/server split that gained so much momentum during the day that we had to complete it post Hackday. After a wildly successful implementation, Jack wrote a blog post explaining what he had done (check it out here).
"In this post, Jack Robinson explains how our team redesigned our client infrastructure in AWS, this enables faster delivery of new features for our customers," explains Glen.
Our latest Hackday on Feb. 13th took on a theme: customer love. Chief Customer Officer Shelley Cox challenged the Hackday teams to come up with a creative project for Hackday that kept customers in the forefront of our creativity. The results included:
- Improvements to our AU/NZ model that made it leaner, meaner, easier and more intuitive for users to set up - all based on recent customer feedback
- New analytics that let us to see what features our customers are using and how our customers are using Montoux, allowing us to make more informed, insights-driven choices about the direction we take our product
“Montoux places incredible emphasis on ensuring our customers are successful, which means keeping them in the forefront of our minds across our entire team and operations,” says Shelley, who was one of the judges for this Hackday. “Coming together as one collaborative team on Hackday and refocus in a creative way that’s completely centered around blowing our customers minds is a fun, exciting, and effective way to keep this energy positive and keep pushing for better.”