An Opportunity to innovate…remotely (with a Hackathon!)

Posted by: Nicholas Piël
18 March 2020
min read

We are all struggling to understand and adapt to the new realities that have affected many of us from around the world. Schools and businesses are shutting down and people are being asked to keep a distance from one another due to COVID-19. The same is true at Surfly’s main headquarters in Amsterdam, where since last Friday we have all been working remotely. It helps that Surfly is a co-browsing tool that helps to connect people and foster digital interactions remotely, so the “remote” mindset is already baked into our culture and way of thinking. But it is one thing to be thinking and creating technology that fosters human connection digitally, and it is another to suddenly have your entire office working remotely. This is a new reality for everyone with many companies scrambling to figure out how to do it in a way that keeps their business moving forward. There is no one-size fits all solution, and mistakes will be made, but I think that is a good thing: this is an opportunity to learn. 

The idea of working remotely is not a new concept, but it is one that many companies and employees have struggled with. There are alternating viewpoints and studies that seem to contradict themselves on the effectiveness of remote working as well as the best way to implement it. And for team members who have always preferred working in an office for whatever reason, this switch to remote working will also be tough. Some people simply know that they don’t work well from home or need the energy and physical connections they get from being around others. 

We took all this into consideration when we closed the doors to Surfly’s office last Thursday and asked everyone to start working remotely. But when we gathered everyone together to share the news, I decided to look at this as an opportunity for us to learn and grow. I asked our team to look at the next few weeks as an opportunity to innovate around how we work remotely: reimagine what remote working is and learning how we can replicate all our in-office collaborations remotely.

We think we have some good ideas, but we also know that are more out there, which is why we today are launching a Remote Hackathon. The goal of this Hackathon is to develop new and innovative ways to use our technology to support remote collaboration. To make this happen we are giving anyone who signs up to participate a free Surfly Enterprise account for the duration of the Hackathon. With Surfly’s co-browsing technology you will be able to instantly transform any online web application into something that is capable of remote collaboration. As companies struggle to change internal and external processes to enable remote work, we want to support them. With this Hackathon we want to encourage pioneers to build awesome new products on top of our technology, free of charge. Whether you are a customer, partner, a new user (welcome!) or just someone who likes to play with API’s and hack things together, let’s all start building things that can help people who find themselves struggling to connect in this new remote reality.

First things first, there will be prizes!

+ €50.000,- Surfly Credits
+ JBL wireless headphones
+ Logitech StreamCam

+ €25.000,- Surfly Credits
+ JBL wireless headphones
+ Logitech StreamCam

+ €10.000,- Surfly Credits
+ JBL wireless headphones
+ Logitech StreamCam

The Hackathon officially starts today, March 19, 2020  and ends on June 19, 2020. During that time you will have free access to a Surfly Enterprise account.

To participate just go to our Hackathon sign-up page and provide a few details. Also, if you want to start looking at Surfly’s documentation you can find that here. 

On  June 19, 2020 we will share the results and prizes will be awarded!! That’s it! Go forth, hack, and let’s try to make peoples lives a little bit easier.