23 August 2018

Agworld hacks their grower engagement

As is common in most software businesses, our team and our customers have way more ideas to make our product better than we have capacity to develop. That is why Agworld has been rapidly increasing their development capacity over the last 18 months, and recently added 4 new developers to the team in our Windsor, Colorado office. This additional development capacity will help Agworld improve the product and provide better service to the rapidly expanding numbers of global customers. Agworld is building capacity to build great new features for growers and ag retailers around the world who are realising the benefits of working together using the Agworld platform.

In order to embed the new colleagues into the Agworld development team, the new US based developers together with the New Zealand based Agworld developers, spent the last three weeks in Perth, Western Australia. Working together in the same room with colleagues is an important part of the onboarding process and helps to create the relationships that are needed in order to perform as a team to deliver on the big projects planned for the year ahead. Agworld’s Head of Product, Matt Collins remarks: “Agworld’s product development team is growing rapidly and brings together a diverse range of disciplines, working collaboratively across 3 different time zones. It is key that, although we all do our separate tasks on a daily basis, we don’t lose sight of the bigger goals and the importance of building a tightly connected team. ”

As part of the three week visit, Agworld organised another hackathon, an event that takes place multiple times per year at Agworld to drive innovation and new ideas. The theme chosen for this hackathon was user engagement, so the challenge was to come up with new and novel ideas that can increase the user engagement with Agworld. Both Agworld users and staff could supply ideas, which were all pitched to the development team on Wednesday afternoon. The developers then chose a number of ideas to develop further and formed teams around these topics. They spent the next 2 days developing these ideas into tangible products, integrated into the Agworld platform.

After two very long and busy days of refining ideas, developing prototypes and working through challenges, the teams produced some great results. Matt Collins adds: “Whilst the goal of the hackathon is to explore new ideas, we frequently see new features developed in a 2 day hackathon that are ready to make available to customers. It’s amazing what a small team can achieve when you carve out space from the day-to-day operation for them to focus on innovation.”

One team consisting of developers from Australia and New Zealand had the idea to to enable PCT Satamaps NDVI imagery for customers using the Agworld web and mobile applications. What they were able to deliver in such a short time frame was truly impressive and has been earmarked for further development. General Manager of Agworld Australia Simon Foley added: “We are always looking to create valuable tools for Agworld customers and the Satamaps NDVI imagery hackathon project was an obvious candidate for further investment.” As a direct result of this team’s ingenuity, Agworld customers can expect to see this new Satamap NDVI feature later this year.

Stay tuned for more information on our new NDVI feature for Farmers and Agronomists!

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