It was a tough decision, but the winners of this year’s Xero Developer Challenge (XDHax) have been announced, with top prizes awarded to a trans-Tasman web development company and a UK app development firm.
The Asia Pacific award was given to Custom D, a web development firm with offices in New Zealand (Christchurch) and Australia. The company designed an app called Dirty Bach that is essentially a mobile app for cleaners that syncs with Xero.
Commenting on the awards, Xero’s global head of Developer Platform, Ecosystem, Dan Young, says the judges had difficult choices but they were delighted with that dilemma.
“It really highlighted the calibre of developer talent out there. Both winners - Dirty Bach and InView - showed a strong appreciation for the spirit of the hackathon and we were delighted to be able to award them both with the top prize,” he says.
Commenting on the win, Custom D web developer Josh Smith says the teams are experienced with web-based Xero integrations, but Dirty Bach was the start of something new – it was the company’s first mobile-only app.
“Dirty Bach evolved from observing a cleaner organising her work. We wanted the app to provide super fast, and simple billing and scheduling for cleaners while still being intuitive and uncomplicated,” comments Smith.
“It was built with React Native, which enabled us to easily reach both Apple iOS and Android device users, and fueled by pizza, beer and industrial quantities of coffee. We think this is the ideal tool for owner operators and are hugely proud the app.”
The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) winner was UK app development and design firm Jemcode. It designed an app called InView, which allows businesses to sync invoices and bills to both desktop and mobile calendars.
Jemcode founder Rikki Pitt says he built InView to address challenges he noticed as a small business owner.
“As a business owner that uses Xero I found it tricky to keep track of my client payments. Not knowing who to chase or what is outstanding can lead to cash flow problems and I wanted an option to automate the process of adding Xero information to my calendar,” he explains.
“The app is built on Ruby on Rails and I’m particularly proud of the calendar caching process I devised to boost performance. XDHax presents an exciting opportunity to really challenge yourself to come up with innovative and creative solutions and I’m thrilled to have won the EMEA competition.”
Smith adds, “Dirty Bach fills a real gap in the Xero ecosystem and does so in a fun way. We would also like to congratulate the team on their ability to build not just mobile-first but mobile-only. InView is a strong entrant to our app marketplace, offering a small but powerful integration that helps businesses better view and edit events in calendars outside of Xero.”
Both winners were awarded US$5,000 prize money, and given the opportunity to showcase their app to Xero’s community of 1.4 million global subscribers and 100,000 plus advisors. The runners up in each region - Equity Space in APAC and Xavier Analytics in EMEA - were awarded $2,500 each.