An Inside Look at the Adyen Tech Event

Incredible things happen when the Adyen tech team comes together. Meet some of the team and get an inside look at what happens at our annual Tech Event.

May 30, 2024
 ·  6 minutes

We do things differently at Adyen. We’ve developed our technology platform in-house from the ground up. No one-off decisions or quick fixes – our system is built for scale, providing end-to-end payment capabilities, data-driven insights, and financial products in a single global solution. 

The tech team is truly global and based in offices across the world, including Chicago, Madrid, Singapore, Bengaluru, Amsterdam, and São José dos Campos.

Once a year we all gather in Amsterdam to collaborate, discuss, and unveil our latest innovations. Here’s a look at our most recent Tech Event and some of the projects our team worked on.

Collaboration with a purpose

Everything at the Tech Event – from the topics to activities – is developed in-house by our tech teams.

“It’s exciting to see your peers present their work on stage in front of hundreds of people,” says Danielle Twaalfhoven, who organizes the event alongside her full-time role as a Frontend Engineer and Tech Lead. “We're not professional speakers; we're engineers, designers, and product managers.” 

A highlight of the week is our Hackathon, where teams collaborate to solve real-world problems.

"Before the event, I joined a Hackathon team with four implementation engineers from London," says Vaishnavi Bhadresh, a Software Engineer from our Chicago Tech Hub. “Together, we pitched a product that increases the adoption of our technology by simplifying the implementation process.

The hackathon isn’t just about new products; the team also explores how to work smarter and make a positive impact with our technology. Projects included a code generator, dubbed the “Project Grim Reaper,” that could identify and remove dead code, saving developers thousands of hours in manual tasks. Another team demonstrated how to enable businesses to make charitable donations at checkout within hours of a humanitarian crisis.

Innovating as a team

With a mix of electrifying presentations and insightful conversations, the Tech Event is a chance to share what we’ve been working on and discuss the latest innovations across the fintech industry. 

Matt Phelps, from our Chicago office, gave a behind-the-scenes look at our mobile in-person payment products. “If you’ve heard of Tap to Pay, that’s our team,” he explains. “We engineer and secure these payment solutions.” 

Thanks to our technology, any standard Android phone can become a payment terminal. It's a win for everyone: shoppers can enjoy shorter lines and checkout anywhere in the store.

Matt details all the unseen work needed to make payments seamless: “One of those critical components is security. Our team tackles advanced cryptography, asset obfuscation, and a new security system called Monitoring & Attestation, which protects merchants' devices from exploits. The Android platform brought unique challenges for Tap to Pay to be a viable product. We had to build layers of security mechanisms, and it was great to share our insights with the global tech team.” 

Machine learning is something on everyone’s minds. At Adyen, we use it to create rules around authorizing payments — for example, the data that tells us whether a transaction is genuine or fraudulent. In a presentation called “Machine Learning at Adyen: Where We’re Heading and How It’ll Help Us Win,” Engineering Lead Richard Price talked us through the opportunity:

“It used to be that our rules were static. In time, we found that these rules were insufficiently granular, hard to maintain, and unable to adapt to changing issuer and shopper behavior. Over time, we replaced these rules with six machine learning models in the payment flow, covering everything like risk, authentication, and payment optimization. The performance impact has been huge.”

This spirit of innovation was everywhere at the Tech Event.

“Micro frontends are a big shift,” says Vergil Penkov, one of our Principal Front End Engineers. “They allow us to build individual pages instead of monolithic applications. This flexibility leads to remarkable results, like reducing our build times from about 10 minutes to just seconds. It allows us to ship features with their own release cadence and sometimes even with a fully different tech stack. As a consequence of adopting micro frontends, we gain the ability to upgrade our tech stack gradually, so we can move to Vue 3 or even freeze legacy pages where it makes sense.”

These decisions help us accelerate our development processes, expedite product delivery, and propel us toward greater engineering autonomy and technical excellence.

Celebrating our differences

This event is the product of bringing together different perspectives and celebrating our growth. Martin Verdier, a Software Engineer, hosted a fireside chat about neurodiversity.

“This event was important because neurodiversity isn’t always obvious, yet it’s something that can really affect people in the workplace. We wanted to raise awareness and start to remove any stigma that might surround neurodiversity. Talking about this topic in front of hundreds of people was a unique and powerful experience. It allowed us all to be open about who we are.”

Teamwork is something we value. It’s not about who did it but how we did it together. We're a global team made up of over 115 nationalities, each providing a unique perspective that helps us solve complex problems for our customers no matter where they are. We don't wait for people to share their points of view, we actively seek them out. The Tech Event is a chance to step back, remind ourselves of what we’ve achieved, and think about what’s next. Because we’re just getting started.

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