Kisi culture

Hack week reflections: Hacking the office with music and announcements

Read the second part of Kisi’s ‘Hack Week Reflections’ series. Enjoy insider access from the web developer’s perspective.

4 min reading time

An image of 3 Kisi employees in Kisi's Stockholm office during hack week

Updated on April 26, 2024

Written by Rahul Kasana

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I'd like to share my experience working at Kisi Stockholm Office during our recent hackweek. This was my second time participating in an onsite hackweek, and if my previous experience was any indication, I knew this one was going to be exciting.

Kisi is a remote-first company, and while remote work has its advantages, it lacks the personal touch and in-person bonding with colleagues. That's where Hackweek comes in – it's a chance to meet colleagues from different teams and collaborate on fun and innovative projects. During this hackweek, I had the opportunity to connect with many colleagues I hadn't met before in real life.

A photo of Kisi employees waiting on the results from the Jenga challenge during the Stockholm hack week

The theme for this hackweek was "hacking the office," which allowed for some creative ideas. One standout proposal came from Katalin, our technical documentation writer. She suggested adding a unique touch to our office entrance: allowing users to play their favorite songs when they enter the Kisi Stockholm office. Without delay, Katalin, Ashish, and I got to work, planning our approach and how we want to acheieve this.

My role in this project was to create a nodejs script capable of responding to incoming events and playing YouTube songs. As I worked on this task, I realized we could also have text to voice, do announcements for the events. We could also use this to make announcements for office events, opening up various real-world applications. What began as a fun project quickly evolved into a tool with significant potential, from welcoming guests to communicating critical events.

Before exploring these exciting possibilities, I needed to complete the primary task – creating the script and ensuring it played songs or announcements smoothly. I started by setting up an ngrok server to host the Node.js script. Then, I integrated the ngrok URL into Kisi's event webhook alert policies, triggering events based on lock and unlock activities. I then fine-tuned the script to respond to these events and play the appropriate YouTube URL. To enhance the user experience, I also helped into building a user-friendly website where people could input their preferred YouTube URLs or craft custom announcements.

After working through the details of our project, we decided to showcase it to the entire company. We invited our HR colleague, Sara, and our Project Manager, Pu, to star in our demonstration video.

Working alongside Ashish and Katalin was a fantastic experience. As a frontend developer, I rarely have the chance to delve into Node.js scripts and server setups. This experience allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and explore the backend side of things, broadening my skill set and pushing my boundaries.

In conclusion, Kisi's hackweek was an exceptional and enriching experience. It promoted collaboration, ignited creativity, and provided a platform to expand our expertise. I eagerly anticipate future hackweeks and the limitless possibilities they offer. Until then, let's continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what's possible at Kisi!

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Experience the Kisi Hack Week from a different perspective #

  • Read the first part of Kisi’s ‘Hack Week Reflections’ series – 'Unlocking innovation, one idea at a time'. Enjoy insider access from the product documentation writer’s perspective.
  • Dive into the history of Hack Week through the lens of the Hardware Teamlead.
  • Discover how three Kisi music aficionados worked on an app that allows employees to access the office with their favorite theme song during hack week. Read the 'Kisi elevating office vibes with customized entrance music' blog.
  • Explore the second part of our Kisi's summer hack week project series. Take a closer look at our emergency button project, which would enable Kisi users to lock down an entire premise.
  • Join Ashish Mishra, Web Developer, for the final part of our 2023 Hack Week Reflections series: Explore The Deep Purple Chronicles.
  • Take a stroll down memory lane and read about the summer edition of the 2022 Hack Week, where 20 team members from over seven countries gathered in Gålö, Sweden.

Rahul Kasana

Senior Web Developer at Kisi

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