We sat down with one of our software engineers, Bhuvan, who led the kiosk development project here at Hazlnut, to ask him about how he approached our first tangible hardware project.
Thank you for joining us, Bhuvan.
Good to be here.
When our executive team announced the Hazlnut Kiosks idea, we were obviously eager to see what it would become. What was the most exciting thing to you about starting the Hazlnut Kiosks project?
The whole concept of kiosks and the numerous problems it solves for our clients made it an exciting and unique opportunity for me as a Software Engineer. I like to look at the impact that a technology can have, and the timing of this product couldn’t be more right. Kiosks tackle labor shortage problems, improve order flows and wait times, etc. which I feel make it a must-have for restaurants.
That’s great to hear that you were immediately inspired by the solution it would provide for our restaurant partners. Once you got started, what were the biggest challenges you tackled during the development process?
Being new to iOS development, there was a learning curve for sure which was the biggest hurdle when I started working on the kiosk. I was able to get on fairly quickly with the help of my teammates. Later on, working with a third-party physical accessory which is the card reader, and using new payment gateway services came with their own set of challenges.
How did you confront the additional challenges presented by the card reader accessory, and what did you ultimately learn from that experience?
Since it was something entirely new to us, we relied on the information they could provide. The documentation on the reader and its APIs was pretty obscure and there wasn’t much online either so I had to reach out to the technical team in charge of maintaining the reader’s firmware and APIs at times. I also read a lot of documentation and examples on Swift language’s external accessory modules. Overall, it made my skillset more diverse and I got some valuable experience having discussions with other developers from that technical team.
Well, I am glad you were able to overcome those hurdles. What features are you the proudest of?
I’m proud of the entire project for sure because a kiosk must be robust and reliable as it always keeps running, order after order. Features like a streamlined order flow and UI, building orders on the point of sale in real-time, and enabling card/contactless payments through the card reader and payment services in a secure way would be on the top of my list.
It sounds like a lot of features got packed into this device. Speaking of UI and order flow, what inspired you to build it out in the way that you did?
The restaurants’ customers are the end-users here so having a fast and streamlined order flow, and a very user-friendly UI were our focal points. Having discussions with the team, bouncing ideas off of each other helped a lot.
Well that’s all the time we have today, thank you so much for joining us.
If you wanted to hear more about Bhuvan, check out this blog post where we sat down with him and explored his background, how he became a part of the Hazlnut Team, and some of his interests outside of work.