Life At Druva, News/Trends

The Secret to Druva’s Pune 24-Hour Hackathon Success

Yadin Porter de León

Druva is relentless about delivering quality software that makes its customers joyful. That means squashing every defect we can find. We’re proud of our software development process which includes an occasional short sprint dedicated to raising the quality of our products. And what better way to accomplish it than with a 24-hour event that encourages our developers to find and fix bugs? Thus, we just finished another hackathon. Perhaps our company’s experience can inspire other software development teams.

Earlier this month, the Druva office in Pune, India hosted its 2015 Hackathon, inviting the company’s own engineers to contribute to the Druva inSync software. The Pune office is where all the technical magic happens, encompassing our developers, quality assurance, and the product team. You might wonder why host a hackathon? Our goal was to give employees an 24 hour competitive, fun opportunity to innovate and implement ideas on the product that they are passionate about. Every participant is a winner but the achievements with the highest impact on customers, the business, and the product strategy are called out as winners. There were four streams: Open Track, Product Issues, Bug Bash, and Automation.

Each stream had its own metric. In the case of the Open Track, we measured ideas by

  1. Relevance and impact of ideas.
    a. Impact on core market (1 point) 
    b. Impact on TAM (1 point)
    c. Impact on competitiveness (1 point) 
    d. Alignment with product positioning (1 point) 
    e. Monetizable (1 point)
  2. Elegance/effort of hack.
    a. Effort to productize: Low effort, big impact problem; high effort, big impact problem; high effort, small impact problem
    b. Clean-ness of hack design (1 point)
    c. Helps build technology leadership/IP (1 point)
    d. Completeness of hack (1 point)

The result? 24 hours of no sleep. Just productivity, team-building, snacks, and awesome results.

Hackathons aren’t new, of course; and you can find plenty of advice on how to make your own hackathon a success. But it never hurts to have another example of what works… in this case, for us. Plus, we think this demonstrates our commitment to making our software better, every single day. (Based on the testimonials we receive, apparently we’re pretty good at this.)

The Druva HACKATHON 2015 Winners: Sudhakar, Nikhil B, and Kapil on “Team Aagyiks”

They won a cool prize of 100,000 Indian Rupees (USD $1,568)!

Hack implemented: Performing pro-active backups based on file system events and incremental data change on the user device. This mechanism automatically triggers backup after pre-determined MB(s) of data gets modified in the folders configured with Druva inSync. This in turn, assists in better control over network bandwidth and storage-usage management.

Bug Bash Winners: Sachin and Amruta

Sachin and Amruta each won 25,000 Indian Rupees (USD $392). They fixed the issue described as “ROBO-415” in the Bug Bash category.

In this Druva Phoenix bug, they explained, we encountered an issue when multiple backup requests were created at the same time a client disconnected-and-reconnected while processing a backup request. Also there was a UI reporting inconsistency in the backup request status. Customers might see multiple backup requests getting created and aborted, which were marked as failed on the dashboard, with no way for customers to know why this was happening. It was definitely worth the time to address this! After the fix, if a client disconnects and connects within a schedule window, Druva Phoenix simply keeps processing the original request; multiple requests are not created. Additionally we made the backup status reporting on UI consistent.”

The following winning teams each won 50,000 Indian Rupees (USD $784):

Open Track Winners: Aniruddha, Mihir, and Aditya

Their special feat: Browser Web restores are now resumable. We use http byte serving to allow for resumes and concurrent downloads. The end result: No more pain of broken Web restores.

Special mention:

  •         Amruta
  •         Sanjeet, Krishna & Rushabh
  •         Aditya and Amit

Product Issues Winners: Prince and Amit S

Special mention:

  •         Vin, Nikhil, and Somesh
  •         Neeraj

Automation Winner: Deepak and Ashwini

Special mention:

  •         Faisal, Avdhoot, and Prince

What was the experience like for our participants? Everyone had fun! Here are a couple of photo highlights:

Here’s what our judges had to say:

Milind Borate, our CTO, commented, “It always surprises me to see how much could be achieved in 24 hours once the artificial barriers and blocks are removed.”

Santosh Raghuram, Druva inSync Product Management director, said, “The sheer passion shown over 24 hours is a testament to how much every participant believes that they can make a difference!”

We’re hiring at our multiple locations in India, U.S., Europe, and Australia. Come and join our fast-growing team!