Director, Software Engineering at Scality
Hack away with Scality at Zenko Holberton Hackathon!
Hackathons have been a great success at Scality (Read more about Hackathon@42 here). Hackathons have not only enabled us to build a community and fuel innovation but also to recruit top talent. We have our next Zenko weekend hackathon coming up fast and furiously at Holberton School on Nov 3rd, 2017.
With the high demand for software developers, it’s challenging to find top talent. Getting to know potential candidates better, gain exposure to them and hardest of all — determine a good cultural fit is time-consuming and often hit-or-miss. Hosting hackathons enables us to come closest to testing a candidate’s capabilities of handling challenges in the workplace via project-based challenges (learning?) while giving us an opportunity to increase awareness about the company’s core values and work culture within the developer community.
Hackathons are fast, frenzied and short-lived by nature with many teams working through the night(s) to achieve their goals. This accelerated time frame forces participants to operate in much the same way they would in real work environments; wrestle with time pressures, collaborate with teammates to innovate and come up with creative solutions to solve actual customer problems.
Hackathons bring together smart professionals and budding talents who bring a diverse perspective to solving problems, ultimately broadening our horizons on genuine use-cases. Sometimes the ideas may not come to fruition within the short duration of a hackathon but projects developed over the course of a hackathon may spawn various internal or external research, development and entrepreneurial activity.
Hackathons are gaining in popularity amongst developers as well. Participating in a hackathon is a great way to get in touch with potential employers as participants are challenged to showcase their talent, work hard, test their capability to deliver under pressure, learn to prioritize, scope out problems, focus on what’s really important and solve problems fast. As time runs out, teams are most often amazed at what they’ve managed to accomplish. In addition, participants get to have a lot of fun, network with other participants, make new friends, have a fair chance to win decent prizes and gain experiences of a lifetime.
Here at Scality, our Engineering team has volunteered for every Scality-hosted hackathon with uninhibited enthusiasm to help brainstorm and guide the participants. In return, they see myriad possibilities of potential solutions to break into new markets or develop extensions to existing software and tools. For Scality engineers, hosting has also facilitated feedback between developers and users of their APIs directly influencing user experience and hence influencing developer adoption, which is crucial for solutions to thrive across new channels.
Zenko CloudServer (formerly Scality S3 Server) has garnered more than 1 million Docker Hub pulls since it was introduced in June 2016. Zenko is Scality’s open source multi-cloud data controller that provides data access in native formats to Scality’s on-premise distributed object & file storage–the RING, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and soon Google Cloud Platform using the AWS S3 API. Zenko also provides cross-region replication to Scality RING and AWS. Zenko will soon deliver search capabilities on data stored locally using Docker volumes or Scality RING or cloud storage such as AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Zenko is an open source project licensed under Apache 2.0. As we build our open source developer community, hackathons have proven to be a great congregating point for reciprocity, human interaction, and nurturing first-time users.
- Competition and, of course,
Eleven teams participated and projects were evaluated based on execution, performance, design quality, and creativity (e.g., finding a creative solution/use-case, implementation thought process, logic & algorithms, etc.). Some cool and creative solutions presented at the event made judging extremely challenging though fun for the jury.
Our next hackathon (Nov 3-5) will be hosted at Holberton in downtown San Francisco. Scality is proud to support Holberton’s mission to educate the next generation of software engineers. Students attending this innovative software engineering school do not pay for their education until after they are working. Once employed, they pay a percentage of their salary. Holberton claims to accept fewer than 2.5% of applicants, making it more than twice as competitive for admissions as Harvard!
We can’t wait for the Zenko Hackathon at Holberton and see the creative juices flowing again!