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&Open’s hidden gems: Our engineering team’s favorite features and best bits of our gifting platform

Our platform’s best bits from an engineering point of view.

&Open4 min2021-09-15

Deep dive into our categories

Hidden gems

A lot of technical pride lies in our Engineering team. Genuine humility is at its core, but a powerful, globally-fluent platform exists because our engineers took the time to carefully ideate it, build it and scale it.

While future improvements and product roadmaps are always top of mind, we took some time to have our engineers reflect on what’s already been done. Everything from features they themselves have incorporated to elements that stand out in comparison to the competitor.

We believe in celebrating the small wins just as much as the big ones. Keep reading for a mix of both.

Delightful design

For some engineers, our platform’s prioritisation of design is one of its most impressive features. Moments of movement or subtle branded touches add excitement to the entire experience.

I’m a very visual person and am strongly attracted to visual elements. The &Open platform is made up of incredibly unique designs that really make me stop and admire the creative geniuses behind it. Not everyone can accurately transpose our brand’s ethos into designed elements, illustrations and graphics. The visual experience is something I really admire and revel in every time I’m on the platform.

Jennie, QA Engineer

We obsess over beautiful form and function, leaving little room for the mundane. Whoever said software has to be grey-coloured and free of delightful design, we’d like to have a word.

I really love how gift recipient screens look and feel. Animations, transitions between slides, the overall experience — a great shoutout to our designers and front end developers for making the experience so well-organised and polished.

Sergey, Senior Software Engineer

Campaign gifting

This feature allows us to gift multiple groups of people at the same time, with the only info needed to execute being a first name, surname and email address. Pretty cool addition to our existing offering and an impressive mass-gifting challenge for our Engineering team to solve.

Though it’s still in its infancy, campaign gifting can help big corporations, like Spotify, easily thank their massive user bases. Without a tool like this, reaching out to each and every user would be close to impossible (not to mention incredibly time consuming). This is also a feature that almost all of our clients see tonnes of potential in. They want to use it a bit differently every time, and thankfully this feature is flexible enough to fulfil their needs and still exceed expectations.

Viktor, Senior Software Engineer

Rich codebase

From a Software Engineer's perspective, we already have a fairly extensive codebase for our age. Even though we’re growing in all directions, the team continues to keep a consistent codebase quality due to having a number of checks and balances for any new code being delivered (i.e. linters, tests, security, licensing).

Sergey, Senior Software Engineer

Whether it’s internalisation and localisation or countless CRUDs for configurations and customisations, our developers are diligent interpreters and expert builders.

Speed and efficiency

Our global reach is actually global. With seven warehouses across the world, sending something thoughtful takes just a few moments.

Whether you're sending a single gift or 100, the process, start to end, takes just a few minutes (even less if you're quick!). We see gift recipients interacting with the platform almost immediately, and volume never seems to impact the seamlessness of it all. It’s very exciting to see.

Niamh, Senior Frontend Developer

Not only is our platform fast for the gift sender but also for the gift recipient. From invite email to gift redemption to front door arrival, the team has thought through &Open’s process time and time again, making efficiency a priority from all perspectives.

Gifting options

Ever heard of the five Love Languages? If so, one knows that physical gifts aren’t for everyone — no matter how tailored they are. Sometimes cash, donations or memberships deliver greater loyalty depending on the person or occasion.

One of my favourite recent features that we’ve developed and launched was a digital cash gifting project for Airbnb. This feature enables Airbnb to send cash to gift recipients, with some fun suggestions for what to spend it on. It’s particularly powerful — for when a physical gift is not possible or appropriate, the gift recipient can have another just-as-impactful gift in a matter of minutes. For example, say a customer can’t get into their Airbnb accommodation. Airbnb’s support team can instantly send a cash gift through email or direct message. The gift recipient can then download the cash directly to their debit card, bank account or PayPal account within 15 minutes or less. Not only do they receive the cash, but we also send along suggestions for lunch/coffee/dinner options while the issue is sorted.

John, Senior Software Engineer

Reflecting on our platform’s best bits gives an extra boost of confidence for future challenges and a desire to keep pushing, growing and improving. Watch this space to see what we tackle next.

Want to join our talented team of engineers? Head here to view our open vacancies.

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