This past Friday kicked off the Friday the 13th Hackathon and as you saw in the previous post, the competition was steep and the work was fast and furious. This years’ Hackathon had 5 teams from Monitis, participating with projects challenging them to succeed in a very short period of just a single day. After 24 hours of non stop (except for a nap under a desk) coding the weary combatants presented their projects to a tough and critical panel of judges. As we await the final results I took the time to talk to, Lusine Khachatryan, one of the “software soldiers”, to gain a bit of perspective on the experience.
Ms. Khachatryan is a Team Lead Engineer at Monitis, a cloud based network monitoring company.
How was your experience at Hackathon?
It was really great to participate in the Hackathon competition. I had read about the Hackathon experience that were hosted around the globe and think it is a really exciting and smart idea. The best and the brightest of us walk in and we know we are going to challenged and pushed. The event really does have two levels to it – finding a solution to your project in the allowable time and then comes the judging your project against the other teams.
Have you done this event before?
No, this was my very first time in being in the Hackathon, but I am sure it will not be my last. The experience was exhausting and very difficult but it was also very fun and rewarding. As we got our project I could already feel the adrenalin starting to surge inside me. My head was racing with idea and options. It was an amazing 24 hours for sure.
What was your project and how do you possibly complete it in such short time frame?
My teams’ project was to create a Monitis mobile agent and trying to do this is a big enough challenge but being limited to just 24 nonstop hours to get it done was really stressful. It required an amazing amount of teamwork and coordination. The first steps in the process are probably the most important as you have to collaborate with your team mates for pooled inspiration. As a group we had to decide on the best project strategy to follow and then start racing down that route. If we had selected wrong and had to start over at some point it would have been a catastrophe. Some of the other projects the Monitis teams were working on were; Server Maintenance Automation via API, HTML5, Monitis 3D Dashboard, and Smart 3D Modules. It is exciting for us all to think that what we did at Hackathon might become tomorrows product at Monitis.
Was the Competition hard?
Monitis entered 5 teams in the competition and we each had different projects. We all worked hard in our closed little groups and it was very stressful. Once we had the project concept decided upon we each took different assignments in getting it completed. Throughout the 24 hour period we would get together as a team and check status and add any needed brainstorming. It was stressful but it was also very exciting because as we developed our projects we started to see how these could not only win us the competition but could also possibly be added to our current products at Monitis. So it was a competition that took its’ toll energy wise but one that will bring us multiple benefits, and maybe a victory. By midnight I was looking around the room and seeing people taking quick power naps where ever they could. Others just kept drinking lots of coffee and Coca Cola. Yet time and again I also witnessed my fellow techies getting that second wind and a burst of energy and re-engage. As dawn approached and the windows became light again, there was a common reaction to the sun rise, it was a kind of panic surge as we all realized that we only had a few hours left. That for sure pushed new adrenalin into our bodies and we all raced for the finish.
So overall you enjoyed the experience? And did your team win?
I don’t know if our team won or not as the results are still pending. But I would say that we all walked away a winners. The experience was invigorating even though it was hard, we all made new friends and contacts, we survived a self test that pushed us all to new limits, we developed new products and concepts, we all had a lot of fun and there were endless pizza’s and such and beverages to allow us to replenish our stores. I would say all in all it was a very unique and fun time for everyone.
Check back in a few days and see the victors be crowned!