How Employee-Driven Projects Are Improving the Platform for Accelo Users

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By Casey Giles
Aug 12 2022 read

Accelo’s Engineering team is comprised of 40 individuals located predominantly in Australia and the Philippines. The team develops and maintains our software applications and delivers Accelo’s product vision. This includes working with other teams to understand user requirements, designing software solutions, writing code and testing and deploying our applications.

Planned goals are always a top priority for our engineering team, but without time to learn new skills or focus on individual passions, these team members can miss out on new ideas or perspectives or even feel disconnected from their work. Creating dedicated time to research and implement their passion projects outside of planned work keeps our engineers engaged and happy while creating a better product for all of our users.  

Understanding the importance of creating dedicated time to pursue these passion projects, Accelo’s Engineering team created a quarterly initiative to do just that. Developer-Driven Time (DDT) — inspired by Google’s 20% Project that brought Gmail to life — provides our engineers the opportunity to work on self-nominated projects and bring that knowledge back to Accelo’s platform and its users.

How Accelo Users Experience the Outcome of Past DDT Weeks

While DDT week provides a great opportunity to support the professional development of our engineers, the outcomes directly empower our engineering team to develop new and exciting ways to improve the Accelo platform for our users.

The most notable example of success from DDT led to a complete structural change in our engineering department. An engineer researched a library for generating web components, which led to the establishment of The Accelo Design System. We then formed a new engineering team to build components, which we’re now using in the next generation of our web app.

Another engineer enabled the Accelo OAuth applications to access our new GraphQL service, which allowed other applications in Accelo to leverage this new technology. It also provided valuable background knowledge for our Authentication Service project the following quarter.

Another success story included an engineer taking a new software developer kit (SDK) from Apple to allow the Accelo iOS app to scan documents using the phone’s camera.

What Does DDT Week Bring to Our Employee Experience?

While the Accelo product directly benefits from this initiative, DDT week also greatly benefits the culture of learning and collaboration within our engineering team. Our engineering team recently completed a DDT week and a few team members shared their thoughts on the experience.

“DDT has given me the chance to further my skills and experiment with ideas which help other engineers and eventually our product. I’ve been able to spend time studying for AWS certifications, which have helped me contribute to new Accelo infrastructure and architecture. … Having the flexibility to experiment has allowed new ideas to ‘breathe’ which has paid dividends in our product and day-to-day engineering.”

- Tim Edwards, Developer Advocate

“DDTs help us in skills development and give us actual time to focus on the learning aspect. If us developers continue to build up relevant skills from this experience, then there will be more ways for the product to improve.”

- Ellice Acayan, React.js Developer

“DDT allows me to spend some time to learn and pick up new skills. It allows us to learn some new technology or tools that will make our work easier. I can also use this knowledge to build features with better user experience and performance.” 

- Lakshmi Ramesh, Software Developer

A Culture Committed to Care and Service

Here at Accelo, we are focused on providing the best care and service to our clients and our employees. That’s why we’re so proud of an initiative like DDT that accomplishes both.

We love seeing the fulfillment engineers experiences when their ideas make an impact on our customers and we’re always seeking candidates who want to make a lasting impact in their role. If that sounds like you, check out our careers page to learn about our open positions.

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