Predix Hackathon - A mac computer showing a code editor with code with a notebook beside it.

Hello everyone,

Last week and continuing into this week, our Software Engineering team along with others have been participating in a Predix Hackathon. If you are unsure what a hackathon is, check out my Thanksgiving post for more details. Having a hackathon at work has been a great experience so far. I want to showcase how our team has utilized the platform, micro-services, micro-apps and machine data to create a prototype for productivity!

Predix Platform

In our first week of the hackathon, our team has created a PostgreSQL database instance, deployed a micro service, deployed a micro app, and connected to an existing database with machine data to create our prototype. Yes you read that right, in our FIRST WEEK! This ladies and gentlemen is the power of Predix.

How we did it:

Predix Hackathon Step 1 – Logistics:

Define the goal:

The goal of our app is to utilize machine data to increase productivity. The app will do so by monitoring data to notify the right people when data meets certain criteria.

Decide on prototype functionality:

What can we deliver in one week that can prove out a potential product that provides results for the business? Once decided, our team together discussed and iterated on architecture as we talked through the functionality. In the first day, we proved out that we could talk to our machine data (database) from a Predix app. This insured the rest of the week would not be wasted.

Predix Hackathon Step 2 – Split the Work:

Our team of 6 split up work in the following way:

  • 2/6 – Back end REST services / Proxy server
  • 2/6 – Database model and its changes
  • 2/6 – UI in Angular / Polymer components

Overall, the experience on the team with the tech stack was on the lower side. This is where the hackathon comes into play. We were able to ask others for help and with an intense focus on our work, pick up new technology at a rapid pace. Springboot, Angular 1, and Polymer for us = results!

Predix Hackathon Step 3 – Avatar State

Predix Hackathon - A cup of coffee with foam in the shape of a smile face.

 

 

 

 

Drink coffee (always a part of my task breakdown)

Predix Hackathon - Avatar Aang in the avatar state

Transform into the Avatar state – master your user story elements!

Predix Hackathon Step 4 – Put on your headphones

Get your development on!! For 3 days straight our team worked on separate pieces of the puzzle, then put them together based on our discussed architecture. This is where we truly discovered the power of micro-services. From the UI perspective, I didn’t need to know HOW the back end services were created, only what the endpoints were. From the back-end service, they only needed to know what endpoints I was looking for.

Predix Hackathon Step 5 – Bring it together

Integrate and iterate. We integrated our separate puzzle pieces and iterated on the design to make sure our demo would be ready for Friday.  The prototype was deployed on Predix, talking to our machine data, and displaying functionality on the UI. A working, deployed prototype developed in 3.5 days (first 1.5 were discussion based)!!

Bringing it together is like everyone filling their responsibility on a football play – TOUCH DOWN!

Predix Hackathon - Navy football player diving into the endzone for a touch down.

 

Next Steps:

This week we look to finalize our prototype functionality and verify code quality is up to standards for our team. With this hackathon being a friendly competition, and me being a life time competitor, I’m looking forward to another week on the grind to show case our work to the judges!


As our hackathon comes to an end on Friday, future post will be providing more informative posts on how to use Predix and hope to help jump start your development. If you have any topics you are interested in, please contact me.

Have a great week!!

Kaleb McKelvey

Resources:

Avatar Image from: http://comicvine.gamespot.com/the-avatar-state/4015-53027/

 

 

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