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Fall EKO Hackathon report

The hackathon is a cherished tradition at Delphix Engineering Kickoff and our recently concluded F

The hackathon is a cherished tradition at Delphix Engineering Kickoff and our recently concluded Fall EKO was no exception. Based on feedback from previous EKOs, we moved away from our traditional a noon to noon hackathon schedule and instead gave a folks a full day to hack with no events scheduled during the time.

Additionally we encouraged people from outside engineering to both pitch ideas and participate in the event which led to some great hacks around sales, HR and recruiting. The hackathon presentations were held the next afternoon and was judges by a cross functional panel of execs. As always the creativity on display was amazing and this is just a partial list of the 35 hacks that were presented:

  • Revamping the Delphix Technology Scholarship program
  • Data Mining Delphix with Splunk
  • HR Tracking Dashboard
  • Conference room tracking via Raspberry Pi
  • OpenZFS Build Server

The judges felt that this was the closest hackathon they have seen and had a tough time deciding on the winners: Best in Show: Brett Lazarus and Eyal Kaspi took our existing monitoring and reporting tool, Mission Control, and made it possible to hook it up to Tableau. They then created a Tableau dashboard to demo some of the interesting graphs and visualizations one can easily derive from Delphix usage data.

Delphix-Tableau integration
Delphix-Tableau integration

Dan Tehranian &John Kennedy won Best Infrastructure Hack for their Parallel ZFS Precommit Tests project to improve the efficiency of test parallelization by taking into account historical run-times of those tests. By intelligently distributing tests according to their past run-times, they were able to achieve a 2x speed improvement over the previous incarnation of this parallel testing system.

To the Cloud: Self-service upgrade validation in the cloud by Seb Roy and Will Guyette attacked the expensive manual process that a support engineer must go through to verify each and every customer upgrade. It builds an upgrade specific support bundle and uses and AWS based Jenkins Upgrade Validate job with a unique S3 document ID.

The upgrade validation job was modified to take a s3 ID, and if present, go download the bundle of that ID and run validation against it. It them monitors the Jenkins job and if successful the customer is able to upgrade on their own without support's involvement.

Practical Magic went to Rahul Nair for creating a SemanticScuttle based internal social bookmarking tool to keep track of internal links across Confluence, Google Docs, Salesforce and any other internal or external web links. Peter Vilim and Andrew Li won the Audience Choice award for the Predictable Forecasting application to help Delphix executives and sales managers visualize historical and in-progress sales opportunities on a deal-by-deal basis.

Drawing source data from Salesforce, the app creates interactive timelines for deals, color-coded by sales cycle stage, that allow managers to rapidly identify deal stalls and slips. The app also generates summary analytics on conversion rates across sales cycle stages for any given time period in order to help managers arrive at more accurate forecasts for quarterly revenue.

All in all everyone had a great time and we have some fantastic new tools and features that were built in just 24 hours. Hackathons are a great tradition at Delphix and I expect that several of these hacks will impact both internal processes and our external product in the coming weeks.