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


This yr’s Cisco Enterprise Networking Hackathon, held globally on October 11-12, was one other big success. The Hackathon has grown steadily over time 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 report numbers. Participation within the Hackathon has gone from 275 members in 2015 to this yr’s 1637 members from 17 completely different nations, together with 37 college students from 23 universities globally. Final yr, the Hackathon was 100% digital; this yr over half of the members on 450 groups have been onsite at Cisco workplaces in the USA, 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 yr was “Multi-domain and Open Methods” and engineers labored on quite a lot of ideas beneath 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 group introduced their concepts to judges with slides and a pre-recorded video. Through the Hackathon, members might stroll across the cubicles inside their places and see different initiatives.

Winner Spotlights 

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 gear for testing on a regular basis. With LaaS, they reserve the time they should use the gear, decreasing testing sources wanted and power 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 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 group specializing in reliable methods, was on a successful group 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 supply entry to different software program processes on a router or swap.

Collaborating within the Hackathon in Bengaluru, Check Improvement Engineer on the SD-WAN group Rishab Jain discovered the time strain of the occasion exhilarating. “You must be a little bit aggressive. You must run quick. You could have to be on name all day.” His group’s successful thought 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 gives 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 gives 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 take a look at instances. Gathering this knowledge was a guide 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 group, is now a two-time Hackathon winner. This yr, her group built-in QR codes on machine 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 exact documentation internet web page. Prospects can scan the QR code utilizing a handheld machine, like a telephone.” She credit the innovation with decreasing TAC instances and offering fast solutions to machine 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 along with your palms within the air and the software attracts as for those who’re utilizing a pen on an precise whiteboard,” he stated. 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 a little bit 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 obtained an opportunity to fulfill with leaders in Enterprise Networking as effectively.”

Ben Astell, a developer on the Python Automated Check 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 applied how the information will be collected throughout take a look at runs, the shim layer, and a proof-of-concept of the information modeler.” His group is happy in regards to the potential for the answer to finally be accessible 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 report 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 stated. “Despite the fact that 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.

Based on Sarang Samant, co-lead with Amit Nandy for the 2022 EN Hackathon, “Successful concepts from the Hackathon, together with an inventory of different concepts which might be highlighted by the tech sponsors and judges as probably 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 will be patented. Lastly, within the Patentathon, groups are guided via the patent submitting course of.”

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

 

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