Interview: Victor Axelsson, participant in OpenHack 2016 and winner of JobTech challenge form Arbetsförmedlingen

Need some JOBTECH-related inspiration for the upcoming hack in Uppsala? We spoke to Victor, member of the winning team of the Arbetsförmedlingen case last year. The case specified the problem with matching job seekers with employers.

Victor Axelsson: at a seminar in Stockholm where Victor and his team presented there solution from OpenHack 2016.

Victor Axelsson: at a seminar in Stockholm where Victor and his team presented there solution from OpenHack 2016.

Hi Victor! What was your solution on the case?

– Our solution was Jobsweeper. The base consists of a graph database and a recommendation engine. Then we built an Android app and a web app. In the Android app, the user swipes for jobs suggested by the recommendation engine and in that way the job ads are quickly filtered out. Through the web app, they employer receive feedback on their ads. We also identified other problems we saw in Arbetsförmedlingens services. 

The app has advantages for both job seekers and employers, since job seekers invest less time in searching and applying for jobs and the employers get better feedback on their ads. By reviewing the feedback they get insights into which ads that work and which don’t, which ultimately helps them in how to better reach out to the job seekers. There’s also advantages for Arbetsförmedlingen as they get better statistics on job searching and vacancy history. It’s a win win win situation.

What did your work process look like? What was your biggest challenge?

– We brainstormed the case and presented our different ideas, then we criticised each others ideas and finally we decided on what direction we wanted to take. We always tried to make sure everyone understood why and how, and that everyone thought it was a good decision. If someone didn’t approve of a decision we just continued with the discussion. We also took a quick meeting with the people from Arbetsförmedlingen and let them try out a very early demo app to hear their thoughts. With their feedback we could decide on our next step.

Have you been able to take your idea further?

– Yes, right now we’re on a break but there are some different openings for the project. Then we’ll see what opportunities Arbetsförmedlingen think there is.

What did you enjoy the most with the OpenHack?

– Meeting other people in the same industry. To do something fun with my friends and have a good weekend with a lot of programming and testing new frameworks.

Do you have any tips for this year's participants?

– Yes. Prepare before the event. Look up the sponsors and their histories. Go through all the cases in advance. Make up an abstract plan before the hack and make sure everyone in the group shares it.

Don’t do a live pitch, record one instead as live demos easily drag out on time. Opt for a good presentation and say that they can test themselves afterwards. It takes away the stress from that actual pitch, since no one in history has ever managed to do a good live demo of an app built by five persons who haven’t slept for 48h.

Keep in mind that you rarely get the opportunity to test the new cool frameworks on customers in a real project. Take this opportunity to test everything you want. Just make sure you get your head around the case before the hack, so you don’t have to start from scratch and learn too much on spot.

But above all, make sure to have great fun. When you have fun and get into a good flow you’re usually at your best.

And finally, how many cans of jolt cola did you guys consume during the weekend?

– Haha, not that many on my part since I rarely drink soda. But I definitely had a few cubic metres of coffee.

Register to our next hack in Uppsala!