At the end of November, Laurie’s (@lsptahoe) Apps UX Innovation Events team organized another fabulous hackathon, this time in collaboration with the Oracle Sydney Office. The goal of the hackathon was to integrate several Oracle Cloud Services and hack together an application built on top of those Cloud Services, using a toy or other device. The AppsLab was prominently represented by Jake, Noel, Raymond and myself as we were invited mentors for the various teams that signed up. This is my report of the proceedings.
We arrived in Sydney on Sunday morning to give ourselves a fighting chance to get over our jet lag before the actual start of the hackathon on Wednesday, but the preparations for us mentors started a few weeks before we set foot on Aussie soil. You see, there were 14 Cloud Services that were made available for the participants, and as mentors, we were obviously supposed to be fluent in all of them. Unfortunately, I myself was only familiar with a handful of these Cloud offerings so I had to learn as much as I could about all the other ones before we headed out. We were given access to all of the services on offer in October and I spend the next 4-6 weeks getting familiar with DCS, ICS, MCS, ACCS, IoT CS and more. Within a few days I was able to port one of our existing services (a universal web scraper Web Service that we use in various other projects, e.g. in the Scavenger Hunt registration application) to ACCS using Dev CS as my Continuous Integration/Deployment platform.
Also as part of the preparation we were assigned to the partner teams, mine was Accenture, and we had a few meetings to review and refine our hackathon elevator pitch. The idea that emerged from our team was a sort of “Kudos” application that would allow anybody to give a present to anyone in their company as a thank you.
On Tuesday we went into the Sydney office to meet our fellow, local mentors, mostly from the ANZ Sales Consulting org. Oh, and they also brought their toys, the famous Anki car demo!
That’s an Oracle Cloud driven Anki car race track of 84 pieces (it actually broke the Anki iOS app which seems to only be able to handle a 64-piece track)! What you can’t see in this picture is that they were filming this with their DJI Phantom drone, right there in the office. It was made available to the participants (using the Oracle Cloud API Management Service) to integrate in their solutions, which some actually did, but it was just plain awesome to look at (and play with). They actually took this behemoth on a tour, you can find more information here
The hackathon started officially Wednesday morning, where we finally got to meet all the participants and I got to meet my whole team:
For scope’s sake, we scaled down our hackathon solution to a Coffee Giving Application and decided to use the Mobile Cloud Service and MAX to build our Mobile Application and HCM Cloud, Process Cloud Service, Integration Cloud Service and Database Cloud Service on the backend:
We split up the tasks and went to work. True to form, the Accenture team worked till the wee hours of the night, way (way) longer than any other team, in fact we only stopped when we were kicked out of the building just before midnight. Thanks to the help of some of the other mentors…
…we were able to put together and present a fully working solution to the judges the next day:
This is the architecture of the solution we presented:
In the end, we didn’t win a prize, but it was a great experience. I learned a lot about the Cloud Services that Oracle is offering, and we are looking to extensively use them going forward when building demos and prototypes. The partners that participated got exclusive access to Cloud Services that aren’t even on the market yet and got to learn from a great team of mentors. Overall it was a fantastic experience all around. I’d like to thank Laurie and her team for organizing, all the mentors for their help and the Sydney office for their hospitality. I really hope to come back one day…