This yr’s Cisco Enterprise Networking Hackathon, held globally on October 11-12, was one other big success. The Hackathon has grown steadily through the years as a result of it’s enjoyable, thrilling, inventive, and collaborative. This yr, engineers took the occasion tagline “Hackers Assemble!” to coronary heart and turned out in file numbers. Participation within the Hackathon has gone from 275 individuals in 2015 to this yr’s 1637 individuals from 17 completely different international locations, together with 37 college students from 23 universities globally. Final yr, the Hackathon was 100% digital; this yr over half of the individuals on 450 groups had been onsite at Cisco places of work in america, India, Canada, Switzerland, and China.
Theme and Tracks
Challenge concepts for the Hackathon, which was formally introduced in August by Ravi Chandra, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Networking at Cisco, started percolating for weeks earlier than the occasion. The theme this yr was “Multi-domain and Open Methods” and engineers labored on a wide range of ideas below 5 tracks (Determine 1).
Challenge groups of two to 6 engineers collaborated beginning at 10:00 AM on Day 1. There was meals, snacks, t-shirts, trivia contests, raffles, and a way of pleasure within the air. On Day 2, every group introduced their concepts to judges with slides and a pre-recorded video. Through the Hackathon, individuals may stroll across the cubicles inside their areas and see different initiatives.
Software program Engineer Josh Hampton, who works in San Jose on the SD-WAN product, joined a group engaged on a reporting dashboard for a lab-as-a-service (LaaS) idea. Testers don’t use devoted tools for testing on a regular basis. With LaaS, they reserve the time they should use the tools, lowering testing sources wanted and vitality used.
For the hackathon, his group created a brand new LaaS dashboard that reveals which people are utilizing which sources and particulars of their use for higher useful resource planning.
Working collaboratively and intensively on the Hackathon, “Folks got here up with questions that I hadn’t considered initially,” stated Hampton. “We got here up with new concepts. The event went quicker and smoother than if we had been collaborating on it as soon as every week.”
Mingyi Huang, Software program Engineer on the Cisco IOS XE group specializing in reliable programs, was on a successful group of two on the Hackathon. “We had the thought to convey Safety Enhanced Linux, a coverage management entry mechanism, to IOS XE.” Builders can paste SE Linux denial of service messages into the software, and it generates coverage to supply entry to different software program processes on a router or change.
Taking part within the Hackathon in Bengaluru, Take a look at Growth Engineer on the SD-WAN group Rishab Jain discovered the time stress of the occasion exhilarating. “It’s a must to be somewhat aggressive. It’s a must to run quick. It’s possible you’ll should be on name all day.” His group’s successful concept was a dashboard for an analytics answer referred to as Third Eye. The software gathers essential knowledge from regression testing actions of particular person engineers and supplies insights into how testers and groups are performing. Previous to the Hackathon, the group collaborated with others inside Cisco Enterprise Networking to combine related regression testing knowledge. Through the Hackathon, they began constructing the dashboard and a video and slide deck to current to the judges.
The software now supplies 60 to 70 engineers on the SD-WAN regression testing group with suggestions on their relative effectivity. “We used to take 24 days to run 30,000 check circumstances. Gathering this knowledge was a handbook course of. After Third Eye, we’re capable of shut an 80,000-test cycle in 15-20 days. Our purpose is seven days.”
Additionally based mostly in India, Premalatha A V, Technical Lead on the Catalyst 9600/9600x DevTest platform group, is now a two-time Hackathon winner. This yr, her group built-in QR codes on gadget consoles with hyperlinks to particular documentation. “Let’s say a buyer desires to implement ISSU, to know what improve is supported. The QR code hyperlinks to that individual documentation internet web page. Prospects can scan the QR code utilizing a handheld gadget, like a telephone.” She credit the innovation with lowering TAC circumstances and offering speedy solutions to gadget questions.
Software program engineer Andrew Castelino is a brand new school recruit and has been at Cisco for simply three months, based mostly in San Jose. The group he joined labored on a wise whiteboarding software referred to as ConfabAir which was one of many Hackathon award winners. “You flip in your digital camera and make gestures together with your arms within the air and the software attracts as in the event you’re utilizing a pen on an precise whiteboard,” he stated. The expertise makes use of laptop imaginative and prescient and a neural community, and the demo featured peer-to-peer connections. “The monitoring was somewhat shaky, however I did some interpolation to make it smoother.” Others on the group labored on networking, neural community, and internet interface. “It was actually enjoyable,” stated Castelino. “Folks noticed us drawing within the air and gathered round us. I received an opportunity to fulfill with leaders in Enterprise Networking as nicely.”
Ben Astell, a developer on the Python Automated Take a look at Methods group based mostly in Canada, joined Hackathon groups working within the cafeteria on the Ottawa workplace. His group’s successful innovation was a CLI to YANG translation software utilizing machine studying for a extra automated strategy to integration testing. “On the Hackathon, we carried out how the info could be collected throughout check runs, the shim layer, and a proof-of-concept of the info modeler.” His group is worked up in regards to the potential for the answer to ultimately be out there to builders in all places.
San Jose State College scholar Chaoron Lei was assigned to a group engaged on optimizing the message path in Catalyst 9000. He helped file assembly discussions, labored on the presentation slides, and requested plenty of questions in preparation for the judging. “It was a completely new expertise for me,” he stated. “Although the engineers are busy with their common jobs, they’d the eagerness to work on a contest for 2 days. They actually love this business.”
The Patentathon and Past
For some Hackathon winners, the journey continues.
In accordance with Sarang Samant, co-lead with Amit Nandy for the 2022 EN Hackathon, “Profitable concepts from the Hackathon, together with a listing of different concepts which are highlighted by the tech sponsors and judges as doubtlessly good concepts, are shortlisted. Then a core group of principal engineers and distinguished engineers throughout all PINs in EN work with the groups to establish which concepts could be patented. Lastly, within the Patentathon, groups are guided via the patent submitting course of.”
Moreover, a gaggle of Hackathon winners will likely be supplied funding via the CTO’s workplace to pursue their concepts as their new day job.
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