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Xplore SF: An update from our global hackathon in the city by the bay

Posted 3 years ago in Xero Developers by Jordan Estreito
Posted by Jordan Estreito

Xero’s annual global hackathon, Xplore, today kicked off with a bang in our San Francisco office.

With Xero’s talented developers shipping more than 1,400 features and updates in the past 12 months alone, it’s no wonder that they may not have time to visit some of their great ideas during the year. But thanks to Xplore, now they can!

We have seven teams in the U.S., with five here in the San Francisco office; all of which are buckling down and getting through the bulk of their work today. Developers will be working late into the night before they present their ideas tomorrow afternoon, battling it out for some great prizes.

While most of these projects won’t necessarily make it into Xero itself, they all address needs that employees are passionate about solving in the future. That said, here are some of the great ideas our developers are working on:

‘Deity’ mode

Developers are looking to create a function in Xero where, if a user is experiencing a bug or having a problem, a specialist will be able to masquerade as the user and get a better understanding of their situation. The team imagines this will be immensely helpful for our Customer Experience team and product leads.

Automatic timesheets

Xero Me is the mobile app for Xero payroll that enables staff to submit time off requests and view payslips on the go. As part of Xplore, developers are looking to build in automatic timesheet creation functionality using beacons, which sense when the employee is nearby. If implemented successfully, employees will never forget to clock-in again.

Tax returns in the U.S.

Tax returns can be a huge struggle for accountants, requiring tons of manual data entry. Team tax return is looking to help accountants produce tax returns more efficiently by connecting the data from their accounting ledgers directly to tax returns. This is another idea that shows how, at Xero, we’re always looking for ways to give accountants back valuable time in their day.

Payroll for newbies

One of our teams in San Francisco is looking to create a rule-based program that lists payroll-related tasks for the first-time business owner, giving them an idea of what they need to complete, how often, and for particular employees. A great idea for our small business customers.

We’ll have a wrap-up next week detailing the winners (and losers). May the best team win!

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