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AppDynamics celebrates HackyNewYear 2018

Employee Alumni (Retired)

AppDynamics celebrates HackyNewYear 2018

The AppDynamics Innovation Labs Team strives to develop and cultivate innovation tools, skills, and resources across the organization to drive self-disruption. I recently spoke with Jen Leung who filled me in on the 2018 Hackathon, first of many opportunities this year for AppDynamos to combine work and play.


Q. Jen, thank you so much for speaking with us. Can you talk a little about the 2018 Hackathon? What did the Innovation Labs Team try to achieve? 


A. Hacky New Year 2018 was a cultural hackathon activity to energize the San Francisco office by cultivating creativity and teamwork in a safe and inspiring environment.


Our goal was to host an event that would encourage every participant to have fun, meet & work with new AppDynamos, and get creative!


93 participants formed 24 teams in the San Francisco office and came up with new and creative ideas. 83% of participants formed teams with people they do not work with, and at least 13% pulled in AppDynamics employees who usually work remotely.


The rules were simple: Teams must be 2-6 people (no individuals) across 2 or more departments (which was left open to interpretation) and there was no hacking allowed before the day of the hackathon.






Q. How did this event differ from hackathons in previous years?


A. This year we opened the hackathon to the entire company, whereas in years past the hackathons tended to be mostly engineering teams and R&D. We encouraged teams to pursue any ideas, not limited to code. We also did away with the Shark Tank judging format and instead went with more of a science fair that allowed participants to roam around and check out each other's creations. 






Q. How did you determine the winners?


A. We gave out multiple awards including Crowd Fave, Team Spirit award, and the Power of the Brains award which highlighted outstanding creative and technical achievement using the collective brain power of all members. 


The Team Spirit and Crowd Fave awards went to "Team Bletchley Park" for their innovative project preserving vote results integrity with a fraud and tamper-proof voting system on the Ethereum blockchain! You can read more about their work here: "Hackathoning with IoT, Blockchain, and AppDynamics by Swathi Bhat".


Team "It's EC2 Save Money" also won the Crowd Fave as well as the Power of the Brains award for unlocking infrastructure cost efficiencies via node-level cost transparency and cost-savings recommendations. 


DSCF5366.jpgTeam "It's EC2 Save Money"


Another Crowd Fave was team "Extensionators" for their smart recommendations for tailored AppD monitoring solutions via backend detection and a next-gen extensions platform. 


Team "Electric Boogaloo" was awarded a Power of the Brains award for enforcing conference room etiquette by integrating room calendars with “smart” light bulbs. 


Power of the Brains went to team "Say Cheese" for working on gauging employee sentiment around the office with emotion detection via live video.


Team "Cask-Lager-Ipa" won a Team Spirit award for making AppD configuration and daily performance status checks easier for the IT crowd...taking our product to where they are...command line interface for AppD. 


And team "Mad Hatters" came up with an idea to have fun and do good by sewing and selling hats to raise donations for the Children’s Hospital. 


There were many more teams working on fun, innovative projects who participated in the hackathon.


DSCF5347.jpgMad Hatters



Q. What sort of feedback did you receive after the hackathon?


A. We heard from many participants that the event was fun, had a great turnout, and encouraged people to learn new skills. The format of the hackathon encouraged technical and non-technical participants to mix. The downside was timing, as some reported that they were not able to participate due to a heavy workload. In the future, we'd like to provide more feedback on the judging scores and also keep the originality of ideas in mind.





AppDynamics celebrates HackyNewYear 2018