Side projects

Rethinking what’s possible

To give you a flavour of what we get up to on our own time, here are a few of our team’s favourite side projects…

Very remote control Christmas lights
Christmas lights attached to a Raspberry Pi microprocessor and connected to a web server. This gives anyone logging in to the site access to an interface that allows them to control the lights and get a preview on their device of the chosen lighting effect.

3D printed debugging ducks
There’s nothing like a gadget for pulling the team together at hx. Our latest new recruits pooled their “gadget for the office” budgets and splashed out on a 3D printer. The team couldn’t resist experimenting. Amongst the spoils we have a printed totoro, miniature figurines, dice and even our own debugging ducks – next on the list are personal key caps for our keyboards.

hx v. the mice
Over a long bank holiday weekend, we built a proof-of-concept for a 2D platforming computer game, entirely in ReactJS. The concept consists of our CPO, Michael, trying to battle an endless army of mice, all represented in pixel art style. While still a work in progress, we learnt a lot about high speed rendering performance, canvas manipulation, and how to effectively represent your co-workers in pixel form.

Presentations-as-code
Fed up with the limitations of traditional PowerPoint, our CEO built his own slide-deck in Gatsby to allow him to create richer, more interactive presentations. This was inspired by his experiences of presentations at meetups and in the broader tech community, but it was definitely a fresh approach in the insurance industry!