More than 1,300 developers, architects, product managers, and IT leaders recently gathered together at Workday DevCon 2022 to learn all about building to solve big, real-world problems. 

Attendees got to explore how to increase agility and resiliency by expanding the functionality of Workday’s technology—including Workday Extend, Workday Prism Analytics, integrations, employee experience, and more. Combining multiple Workday platform technologies such as Workday Extend and Workday Prism Analytics enables customers to more fully craft compelling solutions for their employees.

What made this event even more special was that attendees not only learned about Workday’s newest capabilities, they also got to test out the technology firsthand. Participants had the opportunity to build real apps with these latest features during the Workday Hackathon. Those who joined us had a unique experience filled with innovation, collaboration, and celebration. 

Here are some specific highlights from this year’s event.

A Part of Something Bigger

Joe Wilson, our Americas CTO, and Gina Guillaume-Joseph, our government CTO, kicked things off with an overview of the ways Workday helps businesses solve challenges. “I’m a geek,” said Guillaume-Joseph, a veteran software developer and systems engineer who joined Workday earlier this year. “I’m here to help our federal government solve some of the greatest challenges it faces and do cool things for real people facing real problems in the real world.”

The driving force behind Workday DevCon is the same driving force behind Workday as a company: How can we help organizations better respond to increasing complexity?

She and Wilson shared several examples of how Workday customers solve those real-world problems, including the remarkable story of Otis Elevator Co., the world’s leading elevator and escalator manufacturing, installation, and service company. As a global company, Otis leadership needed to take immediate action to help its Ukrainian employees when Russia invaded in early 2022. Within 10 days, the company leveraged the power of its Workday developers and Workday Extend to create an app that matched fleeing workers with Otis employees in surrounding areas who were willing to host—taking into account language abilities, family size, and more.

Back in the U.S., Workday developers have also helped clients battle the national nursing shortage that has dramatically worsened during the pandemic. To address this urgent issue at St. Luke’s University Health Network, Workday partnered with the health system’s developer, recruiting team, and chief nursing officer to build a nurse retention app that helped leadership better understand shifting needs, engagement, and experience. Nearly 4,000 registered nurses took advantage of the app, a 74% participation rate. And as a result, St. Luke’s not only reduced attrition by 50% but also hired 215 new nurses to better support their patients and communities.

And in a solution that spans the U.S. and abroad, Workday Extend helped Wycliffe Bible Translators better track the whereabouts and transition plans of thousands of employees who regularly deploy for long-term assignments in 90 countries. After relying on Word documents to track employee transition plan updates, Wycliffe implemented Workday Extend, which allowed employees to update their own information and provides a comprehensive view of worker transition plans in a single dashboard.

Whether navigating humanitarian crises, geopolitics, employee relocations, or workforce shortages, Workday developers make a difference.

“There’s power in building and creating and solving these problems,” Wilson said. “By leveraging our platform and then adding on, our community of developers is solving problems in real time and helping organizations focus on the things that matter most.”

Harness the Power of Development

The driving force behind Workday DevCon is one in the same: How can we help organizations better respond to increasing complexity?

Jim Stratton, Workday’s CTO, shared how by opening our platform to a broader ecosystem of partners and developers, we’re able to help customers push their agility and adaptability to the next level. Workday Extend is built around the notion of having customers for life. We develop applications and our underlying platform with the understanding that customers are going to be using them 30 years from now, when everything looks different. Workday was built to continuously evolve so that we can serve our customers for decades to come.

Because Workday’s platform is built on a single common object model, it’s incredibly configurable. This allows customers and partners to quickly create custom solutions with the confidence of the Workday platform and technology behind them.

To understand the value of Workday’s extensibility, Eric Chung, Sun Life’s director of human resources systems, explained that as policies changed rapidly during the early days of the pandemic, Sun Life used Workday Extend to quickly adapt and push out the latest information.

“We look at Workday as a jar of functionality, and the main platform delivers great business solutions that are the big rocks filling up the jar,” Chung said. “Then Extend comes in and acts as the sand that fills the gaps between the big rocks. Extend really helped us reach the spaces that weren’t getting looked at before.”

Developer Stars Shine Bright

No event is complete without celebration, and we wanted to recognize the top developers who are contributing to the Workday Extend community, making it thrive and grow. We’ve dubbed these great developers our “developer stars” and brought them onstage to learn from their experiences. Vinod Mahalingu at Netflix and Eric Chung at Sun Life shared insights on how they’ve had success with Workday Extend, contributed to the Workday ecosystem, and helped their businesses thrive.

The developers discussed their technical and consulting backgrounds, their experience as Workday developers, and how others can join the Workday Extend developer community. “I think one of the key things you need is adaptability and curiosity,” Chung said. “If you like tinkering, Extend is the thing to use because you can tinker and play around, and show others what you did. They get excited, and that energizes you to keep going and learn more.”

The regular education and community events also rated highly. “I’d encourage all new developers to attend the biweekly knowledge hearing sessions and the monthly dev program course because a lot of insights are shared,” Mahalingu added. “So I would say, make the most of it and keep building new apps. And join the club.”

The Power of Building Together

Last but certainly not least, Workday DevCon inspires developers to learn from one another about how they are using the platform to create compelling experiences for their users. After all, it is a conference designed by developers for developers. Through activities such as breakout sessions, birds of a feather meetings, the developer hub forum, and Workday Hackathon, attendees share best practices, provide feedback, get hands-on experience, and tap into our own technical experts.

The pace of sociopolitical, economic, and technological change is only going to continue to increase. By helping our customers and developer communities create unique, vital solutions, Workday Extend is forging a pathway for organizations to cut through uncertainty and move toward a brighter future.

We hope to see you at Workday DevCon 2023!

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