Citizen Developer Hackathon: Employee Directory App

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Here at TrackVia, having fun and working hard are equally important. Neither would happen without our Executive Assistant, Rebecca. She does everything from arrange happy hours to IT procurement and maintenance. She also serves as the welcoming committee for new employees, setting up their training and helping them get to know their new co-workers. For the recent TrackVia Citizen Developer Hackathon, Rebecca and I teamed up to create a TrackVia Employee Directory application.

As any executive assistant or office manager knows, keeping track of the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of details for a company’s workers can be daunting. Even more importantly, some of these details need to be kept confidential.

For our application, we wanted to go beyond the typical name, title and telephone extension information that is useful, but not very personal. Now, on their first day of work, new employees can see a directory which includes each employee’s picture, favorite drink, favorite lunch restaurant, type of pet, number of children and a random factoid. We find that these additional details facilitate connections, which in turn facilitate collaboration at work.

Because TrackVia employees tend to be very data-minded, we also put several charts on the TrackVia employee dashboard: A chart of the number of employees per department (which also allows employees to click on a pie piece and get a list of all the employees in just that department) and a chart showing what percentage of employees have 0, 1, 2 or 3 children.

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But Rebecca and I had several additional purposes in mind when we built our app. Using the TrackVia permissions feature which allows app creators to specify exactly which users can view, edit or delete any piece of data, we collected some personal information. The information includes employee’s birthdays, TrackVia start dates, emergency contact information, spouse’s and children’s names, dietary restrictions and T-shirt size.

If Rebecca needs to order lunch for the office or for a department, she can use our app to quickly get a count of the number of people to order for, see what their favorite lunch places are and plan for any dietary restrictions. Also, thanks to TrackVia’s email notifications, Rebecca is alerted to upcoming birthdays and anniversaries so she can publicly recognize employees. When it’s time to order T-shirts or jackets, she can quickly get a count of how many items she needs to order in each size.

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Every summer, TrackVia holds a company picnic which includes employee’s families. Using the app, Rebecca and others can learn spouse’s and children’s names beforehand so they can greet people by name.

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On the surface, our TrackVia Employee Directory application helps new employees settle in quickly. However, it also allows our Executive Assistant to quickly and personally take care of our employees. And thanks to TrackVia’s user permissions, private information remains private, while the information a new employee needs to better know their team is available to everyone.