Workday DevCon and Hackathon: Where Business and IT Meet

We recently closed out two events—Workday DevCon and Workday Hackathon—that demonstrated how our developer community is using Workday Extend to creatively address unique business needs.

We’ve been asking ourselves and our customers what matters most when the unexpected happens in a world of constant change. The diversity of responses reveals interesting contradictions. Here are some examples:

  • We want more capabilities but with fewer systems.

  • We want easy access to data but without sacrificing security.

  • We want to meet unique needs but build solutions with consistency.

  • We want to accelerate innovation but ensure business continuity.

Clearly, such challenges are best addressed when there is open dialogue between the lines of business and IT. And organizations that can encourage this mix of perspectives will be better equipped to navigate—and adapt—to an ever-changing landscape.

With an organization’s technology platform serving as a common foundation, being able to flex it to meet new challenges requires deep expertise. Enter the developers—the people who are at the center of this response. 

We recently hosted two events—Workday DevCon and Workday Hackathon—that demonstrated the incredible creativity of our external Workday developer community. By using Workday Extend, developers at companies around the world are addressing their organizations’ unique needs in whatever way is best for them—while staying securely and confidently within the trusted Workday system.

Developing the Art of the Possible

Workday DevCon 2021 marked the start of what we intend to be an annual event that empowers our customers and partners to rapidly create useful, trusted solutions for their workforce and their business.

We were thrilled to have over 700 attendees from 250 customers, 10 breakout sessions, and six partner spotlights over the two days. Attendees included not only current Workday Extend customers but, for the first time, any Workday developer, technical manager, or IT director who wanted to learn about how our platform technologies such as Workday Extend and Workday Journeys work together, as well as how they work with our core products.

We also hosted Workday Hackathon 2021, the fifth annual event for our 2,000-plus Workday Extend developer community. We launched eight innovations highlighting platform interoperability across machine learning, Workday People Experience, our Business Process Framework, and Workday Extend.

It was an action-packed, five-day event (including a weekend); 300 hackers formed 60 global teams representing 102 companies from Australia, India, Japan, Poland, Spain, the UK, and North America. All told, close to 500 apps were created, three of which won grand prizes. With so many apps created, it was hard to choose the winners, because each one offered a fresh perspective on how businesses can solve persistent, real-world problems. But since we had to choose just three: 

  • EZAudit, created by team Zoomies, won both the crowd-favorite vote and Best Integrated App. The app integrates Jira with the extended Workday application to create an automated deployment flow for security-related change requests. This assists with compliance- and audit-related activities as well.

  • Green Machine, created by Agents of Extend, won Best Innovative App. This app creates a way for companies to take concrete steps, at the employee and the organizational level, to become carbon-neutral. Users can manage a fleet of green vehicles (such as electric bikes) for employee use, and incentivize and gamify lower-impact commuting options.

  • Acumen, created by HackPackers, won Best of Show. Acumen provides a smart way of managing workplace facilities, assets, services, technologies, and processes that enhance the workplace experience, like tracking employee density on certain floors with real-time Internet of Things (IoT) indicators, the ability to send mass texts in an emergency situation, and making it easy to reserve meeting space (including a Zoom invite) with one click.

Congratulations to our winners and to everyone who submitted their apps!

March of the Builders

Both developer events had one overriding goal: using Workday Extend to build apps that unlock new value from Workday, whether that means creating deeper employee experiences or orchestrating business processes.

But it would be remiss to conclude that developers accomplished this all on their own. Many of the hackathon themes drew inspiration from elsewhere within the business—from HR admins to finance leaders and technologists who joined their colleagues, excited to learn what all the noise was about.

And we discovered something that was hiding in plain sight—a new role that’s forming a fresh perspective within organizations: the “Workday builder.” The builder has always been here among us, bridging administration, app development, and integration needs. By leveraging fundamental Workday administration and integration expertise, and augmenting that with web development, data processing, and API experience from elsewhere in the organization, this new role—from what we see—will grow rapidly, acting as a trusted adviser to both business and IT. 

The world has changed. By enabling our customers’ IT teams and development communities to create the unique capabilities they need, they can confidently innovate and extend their investment in Workday, to be more competitive and adapt to meet new challenges on their own terms. 

Workday customers can learn more about Workday DevCon 2021 on our Community site.

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