In February 2023, Discover Financial Services announced its intention to join the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS) as a gold member. Since then, engineers at the company have participated in special interest groups, contributed an open-source accessibility project and code, and sponsored one of the largest hackathons that FINOS has run.
Last week, FINOS recognized Discover with its Spread the Word Award. The honor celebrates the work that Discover has done in the open source fintech space, particularly around its sponsorship of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day Hackathon.
"Congratulations to Discover for winning the Spread the Word Award! Your pioneering leadership to make financial services accessible to all was clearly demonstrated through the success of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day Hackathon," says Gabriele Columbro, Executive Director of FINOS.
The award validates the Discover strategy of engaging in open source through a trusted, openly governed body like FINOS. "We're proud and humbled to receive a 2023 Linux Foundation Open Source FINOS Member Award. Open source is all about code, community and contributions. We are excited to continue to collaborate in the industry to advance the art of the possible in the open for our people, processes, and technology!" says Angel Diaz, VP of Technology Capabilities and Innovation.
Improving accessibility through open-source code and hackathon
In the months since joining FINOS, Discover engineers have made great strides in participating in the community. Chief among their efforts was sponsoring two of the event tracks of the FINOS Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) Hackathon. The event focused on designing accessible, inclusive digital and physical financial assets and tools. Teams of designers and developers worked together to explore use cases and offer solutions for accessibility issues faced by financial institutions.
Accessibility Hackathon stats:
- 199 registrants
- More than 70,000 lines of code written
- 441 code commits
- 11 qualified submissions across the three tracks
In addition to the nearly 27 Discover employees participating on Hackathon teams (including the winning team in one of the tracks!), employees contributed with coaching, judging, marketing, promotion, and more.
The greatest contribution came before the hackathon started in the way of a new, open source, accessible design toolchain.
Contributing an open source accessibility project to the hackathon
After discovering some internal accessibility issues at Discover, Lise Noble, Distinguished Engineer of UI/UX at Discover, considered the impact of creating a tool that could embed accessibility features at the start of the design toolchain. That way, features could be easily developed, updated, and implemented across entire organizations using design tools that are already familiar to designers.
An internal team of developers at Discover rallied around the idea and created an open-source project — ThemeBuilder — to simplify the design toolchain and support accessibility. The project was used as a seed project for the accessibility hackathon. “We’d love for this project to gain momentum by upstreaming it to the FINOS labs to foster and grow the community,” says Andy Smith, Distinguished Engineer and Director of the Discover Open Source Program Office.
Collaborate with us
Discover would love to continue collaborating around tools and technologies that affect fintech companies.
- Use and contribute to our ThemeBuilder project to make design accessible to all
- Join one of the Working Groups we’re on at the FINOS or participate in a project.