EN Hackathon 2022 Produces Beautiful Improvements from 1600+ Contributors in Cisco Enterprise Networking


This 12 months’s Cisco Enterprise Networking Hackathon, held globally on October 11-12, was one other enormous success. The Hackathon has grown steadily through the years as a result of it’s enjoyable, thrilling, artistic, and collaborative. This 12 months, engineers took the occasion tagline “Hackers Assemble!” to coronary heart and turned out in document numbers. Participation within the Hackathon has gone from 275 individuals in 2015 to this 12 months’s 1637 individuals from 17 completely different international locations, together with 37 college students from 23 universities globally. Final 12 months, the Hackathon was 100% digital; this 12 months over half of the individuals on 450 groups have been onsite at Cisco places of work in america, India, Canada, Switzerland, and China.

Theme and Tracks 

Mission 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 12 months was “Multi-domain and Open Methods” and engineers labored on a wide range of ideas underneath 5 tracks (Determine 1).

Hackathon Project Tracks
Determine 1. Hackathon Mission Tracks

Mission 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 staff offered 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 tasks.

Winner Spotlights 

Software program Engineer Josh Hampton, who works in San Jose on the SD-WAN product, joined a staff engaged on a reporting dashboard for a lab-as-a-service (LaaS) idea. Testers don’t use devoted gear for testing on a regular basis. With LaaS, they reserve the time they should use the gear, decreasing testing assets wanted and power used.

For the hackathon, his staff created a brand new LaaS dashboard that reveals which people are utilizing which assets and particulars of their use for higher useful resource planning.

Working collaboratively and intensively on the Hackathon, “Individuals got here up with questions that I hadn’t considered initially,” mentioned Hampton. “We got here up with new concepts. The event went sooner and smoother than if we have been collaborating on it as soon as every week.”

A Hackathon Team in San Jose
Determine 2. A Hackathon Crew in San Jose

Mingyi Huang, Software program Engineer on the Cisco IOS XE staff specializing in reliable techniques, was on a successful staff of two on the Hackathon. “We had the thought to carry 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 offer entry to different software program processes on a router or change.

Taking part within the Hackathon in Bengaluru, Take a look at Improvement Engineer on the SD-WAN staff Rishab Jain discovered the time strain of the occasion exhilarating. “You must be somewhat aggressive. You must run quick. It’s possible you’ll have to be on name all day.” His staff’s successful thought was a dashboard for an analytics resolution known as Third Eye. The software gathers important knowledge from regression testing actions of particular person engineers and gives insights into how testers and groups are performing. Previous to the Hackathon, the staff 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 gives 60 to 70 engineers on the SD-WAN regression testing staff with suggestions on their relative effectivity. “We used to take 24 days to run 30,000 take a look at instances. Gathering this knowledge was a handbook course of. After Third Eye, we’re in a position to shut an 80,000-test cycle in 15-20 days. Our objective is seven days.”

A Virtual Hackathon Team
Determine 3. A Digital Hackathon Crew

Additionally based mostly in India, Premalatha A V, Technical Lead on the Catalyst 9600/9600x DevTest platform staff, is now a two-time Hackathon winner. This 12 months, her staff built-in QR codes on gadget consoles with hyperlinks to particular documentation. “Let’s say a buyer needs to implement ISSU, to know what improve is supported. The QR code hyperlinks to that individual documentation net web page. Clients can scan the QR code utilizing a handheld gadget, like a telephone.” She credit the innovation with decreasing TAC instances 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 staff he joined labored on a sensible whiteboarding software known as ConfabAir which was one of many Hackathon award winners. “You flip in your digital camera and make gestures along with your palms within the air and the software attracts as in case you’re utilizing a pen on an precise whiteboard,” he mentioned. The know-how 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 staff labored on networking, neural community, and net interface. “It was actually enjoyable,” mentioned Castelino. “Individuals noticed us drawing within the air and gathered round us. I obtained an opportunity to fulfill with leaders in Enterprise Networking as effectively.”

Ben Astell, a developer on the Python Automated Take a look at Methods staff based mostly in Canada, joined Hackathon groups working within the cafeteria on the Ottawa workplace. His staff’s successful innovation was a CLI to YANG translation software utilizing machine studying for a extra automated method to integration testing. “On the Hackathon, we carried out how the info might be collected throughout take a look at runs, the shim layer, and a proof-of-concept of the info modeler.” His staff is happy in regards to the potential for the answer to ultimately be obtainable to builders in all places.

San Jose State College scholar Chaoron Lei was assigned to a staff engaged on optimizing the message path in Catalyst 9000. He helped document assembly discussions, labored on the presentation slides, and requested loads of questions in preparation for the judging. “It was a very new expertise for me,” he mentioned. “Although the engineers are busy with their common jobs, that they had 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 line with Sarang Samant, co-lead with Amit Nandy for the 2022 EN Hackathon, “Profitable concepts from the Hackathon, together with an inventory of different concepts which are highlighted by the tech sponsors and judges as doubtlessly good concepts, are shortlisted. Then a core staff of principal engineers and distinguished engineers throughout all PINs in EN work with the groups to establish which concepts might be patented. Lastly, within the Patentathon, groups are guided by means of the patent submitting course of.”

Moreover, a gaggle of Hackathon winners shall be provided funding by means of the CTO’s workplace to pursue their concepts as their new day job.


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