FreeQuest - the leave tracking app
The app allows for managing and tracking vacations, sick leave, and remote work in the teams simply and intuitively.
FreeQuest is a dedicated leave tracking app that was built by Applandeo. It was created to address one of our internal struggles which are to simplify the process of leave management across our teams. The main function FreeQuest app brings is that it allows online submission of leave and remote work, so everyone in the team or a company can manage it in a simple and intuitive way with a click of a button on their phones. It applies to both submitting vacations, sick leaves or remote work done by employees, and approving it, monitoring and reporting done by managers and HR teams. The FreeQuest app was released in April 2020, it has been vastly improved since then. It is available on Android and iOS.
What inspired us to build our own dedicated leave tracking tool?
Managing offline leave applications is time-consuming and it generates additional operational costs. With the increasing number of employees and our teams’ complexity, we wanted to simplify the leave management process and reduce the paperwork and operational costs as much as possible. We tried other, external tools, but we were struggling with several issues, including technical aspects of a tool, non-intuitive interface or lack of a mobile version. We wanted a reliable and simple mobile app that reduces leave administration pain at the employee, managers, and operations level.
We are a software development company, with over 50 individuals, based in Poland, but serving clients globally. That requires a flexible structure in terms of human resource allocation and administrative and business processes. Our technical and administrative teams work in a dynamic environment, operating with multiple projects, different time zones, and locations daily. We needed a tool that helps us create better transparency and overview of daily and weekly presences, absences, remote work, vacations, and leaves planning within and across teams.
The objective was to build a dedicated mobile app that makes it easy and smoothing the leave tracking process on both the employee and the managerial side. What we needed was a digital automated platform that:
- collects and presents information on leaves and remote work across all teams
- simplifies the process of tracking and reporting data on holidays, leaves and remote work
- transforms the time-consuming and manual paperwork into a friendly and intuitive environment
- helps team members submit leaves and remote work with one click of a button
- helps managers quickly receive and manage leave requests online and view their teams' leaves' calendars
- helps HR teams collect relevant data on leaves and provide payroll reports any time it is needed
Our priority was to make it an accessible mobile app that features an intuitive and friendly interface and is easy to use by everyone.
How we did it
For the FreeQuest project, we decided to create a native application for Android and iOS. For the backend implementation work, we used NestJS, TypeScript’s framework.
One of the goals was automating the entire process as much as possible, and Bitrise seemed the best way to build the project and upload it to the store automatically.
We use Firebase to distribute apps to testers. It helps us manage our build smoothly and quickly swap between releases. Apart from the distribution side, we use Firebase for bugs reporting and basic application analytics.
For quality control, we do:
- Automatic tests
- Automating code review, using: https://github.com/danger/danger, with static analysis: ktlint (Kotlin), SwiftLint (Swift)
- The manual tester that confirms the correct operation of the application
- iOS – Swift, RxSwift, RxCocoa, Alamofire, Realm, R.swift, Swinject, SwiftLint, Danger
- Android – Kotlin, RxJava, Koin, Android Jetpack, Retrofit, Material-Calendar-View, ktlint, Danger
- API – Nest.js, MongoDB, MariaDB, Redis, TypeORM, AWS s3, AMQP
- Web – React JS, TypeScript
Main Tools and Solutions:
- Amazon’s Buckets – photo storage
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud – production server
- Bitrise – automatic tests, application deployment to test devices, application deployment to App and Play stores
- Danger – automated PR checking
- Cloudflare – caching and faster image loading by applications
- Confluence – technical documentation
- Firebase – reporting bugs, basic application analytics, providing test versions of the application
- Jenkins – automatic tests, deployment to test servers
- Jira – project management
- Slack – internal communication
The UX & UI design of the app was created by Applandeo.
The daily work and project management is based on the agile Scrum framework.
The FreeQuest app meets all EU regulations about data processing, data security, and complies with GDPR standards on data encryption and communication.
The app collects only the data necessary for application operations.
By bringing FreeQuest to life, we improved the internal process of leave management significantly, we also reduced operational costs.
FreeQuest optimizes the leave tracking processes at both structural and individual level, and it automates the reports that are crucial for remuneration settlement.
The app does not allow ads and micropayments, nor generate any additional costs. It provides only the necessary data on vacations, sick leaves, and remote work from the manager, employee, and HR perspective.
FreeQuest is mobile-first and easily accessible by everyone. That brings additional comfort to working as remote and global teams.
The app is continuously developing and improving. The latest release is available for both Android and iOS.
Technologies we used
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