IT students created winning platform for promoting international work mobility
The platform NomadCard by UT computer science students enables access to co-working spaces which can be used for remote working. This idea brought the bachelor’s students first place in this year’s final of the TransferWise Hacktathon, the topic of which was money without borders.
According to Janek Timmas, student of the UT Computer Science bachelor’s programme, the wish to participate in the competition is obvious to every active software student: “Many think the TransferWise Hackathon is the most prestigious software-only hackathon in Estonia, already in the preliminary rounds there are three candidates to one spot.”
Timmas said the idea for the platform was born when the team discussed the pros and cons of the lifestyle of digital nomads. Digital nomads are specialists who travel and work at the same time, moving to a new country or city once a month on average.
Timmas described that digital nomadicity is a growing trend: “More and more people realise that instead of a 3,500 dollar one-room apartment in San Fransisco they could get plane tickets to Thailand, an Airbnb house, office space and have 2,000 dollars left over. And living costs are smaller as well. Companies are also realising that it is cheaper to send their employees to travel than rent office space.”
Although similar platforms exist, the students’ idea for the platform has a novel approach. “Closest to our platform is Copass, which has a pretty similar system, but it focuses on work spaces in Europe and USA, which, according to our data, are the places people are travelling away from. In addition, they are more expensive and they sell it directly to the nomad, not the nomad’s company,” described Timmas.
The advantage of the students’ application is that joining once gives access to numerous co-working spaces around the world.
Timmas said that their wish is to see a world where a person chooses the company based on whether they offer NomadCard or not. “We understand that our vision of the future does not comply with the principles of all companies and it does not have to. However, there are many companies who are already offering this chance.”
For those who are more interested in the topic, Timmas recommends watching the “Remote by default” by Coby Chapple, software engineer at GitHub, about how in Github, which is a company with 245 people, 75% of the employees can be remote workers.
Learn more about NomadCard at thenomadcard.com.
In the final of the TransferWise Hackathon, teams implement a software project in 24 hours during which they go from idea to a prototype.
Janek Timmas, UT student of Computer Science
janek.timmas [ät] gmail.com