An Inside of Glimpse at WP Engine’s Previous West Hackathon

Saddle up for a Hackathon hoedown, pardners! At WP Engine, our Hackathons are two-working day rodeos of innovation where by teams collaborate to craft new product or service ideas or address present troubles. 

The party is not just about computer software contributors can pick out any venture connected to their day-to-day operate or a new place of fascination, including creating physical objects. It’s also an exceptional opportunity for workers to do the job with men and women they may not normally get to collaborate with, fostering new connections and cross-staff finding out.

This time, we ventured to the Old American West—horses, flannel, jeans, spurs, cowboy hats, lassos, and—why not?—cats for the memes! 

Even though the jobs that arrive out of Hackathon don’t generally flip into long run WP Motor innovations, they usually right impact the lives of our clients and colleagues via experimentation and understanding.

Hackathon 2023 image featuring a trophy full of beans. text reads: Hackathon 2023, Award Categories, More than a hill of beans

Maintain on to your hats there is more to this rodeo! 

Embracing the spirit of welcoming competitiveness and community effects, WP Engine Hackathons arrive with an optional contest in which the winners get to pay back it ahead, contributing to a charity of their decision. 

Now, let us tip our hats to the coronary heart of the event—the awards! There are six awards in full. This incorporates five well known decision awards for which any WP Engine worker can vote as nicely as just one specific award granted by an Government Sponsor. 

This yr our awards were as follows:

The Lone Can Award

The Lone Can Award celebrates the group that, while not hitting the end line, presented a flavor of what could have been. Like a can of beans, this undertaking is wholesome, but not quite a full food. 

We embrace experimentation in each WP Engine Hackathon, knowledge that ventures into uncharted territory can face difficulties and even failure. Creating this award for assignments dealing with these hurdles aims to inspire teams to share their activities, fostering a lifestyle of understanding and expansion for all.

Pardner 1st

The Pardner Initially Award honors the staff that skillfully blends innovation with consumer requires, fashioning a option as comforting as an outdated mate and as responsible as a perfectly-worn pair of boots. 

Rooted in WP Engine’s Main Price of Shopper Influenced, this accolade applauds jobs that embody a deep comprehending of and commitment to our clients.

Tighten the Bootstraps

The Tighten the Bootstraps Award acknowledges a team’s knowledge in choosing when to mend a fence alternatively of setting up a new one. 

For an Engineer, building new issues is remarkable, but this award acknowledges the worth of improving upon what we currently have. This award is a nod to groups innovating on set up foundations.

Shiniest Buckle in City

For the Shiniest Buckle in City Award, a team’s job shouldn’t just be useful it demands to be a masterpiece, a finely crafted buckaroo of code that stands tall in the computer software frontier. 

Just as a cowboy requires pride in their belt buckle, this group can proudly wear the Shiniest Buckle in City to symbolize their meticulous attention to depth and design and style finesse. This award is greatly encouraged by another WP Engine Core Value: Layout Issues.

The Platinum Prospectors Prize

We usually want just one award that will allow groups to compete for a “top spot” in the competitors. 

The Platinum Prospectors Prize goes to the project that hits all the right notes, leaving an indelible mark on the Wild West of code. Their innovation and execution resonate with brilliance and go away a long lasting impact.

Girish Byraiah’s AI Code Wrangler Award

Just about every Hackathon has a unique prize awarded by an Executive Sponsor. This Hackathon’s sponsor, WP Motor VP of Engineering Girish Byraiah, challenged teams to boldly traverse the electronic prairies, breaking new ground in the wild terrain of AI. 

This award acknowledges the daring innovators who emerged as the gritty mavericks of our Outdated West Hackathon.

Image depicts a cowboy cat eating beans from a can. Image text reads: Hackathon 2023, Meowdy, pardner. Let's get cookin!

Nineteen groups introduced their initiatives at the conclusion of the Hackathon. Their scrappy 48-hour initiatives are remembered by their displays, symbolizing an imagined upcoming state of what could be at WP Motor. 

These are some of the award-profitable tasks that we built together.

Hack for Cats: The Lone Can Award

image of test cat trying the cat authentication device created by Christine Seeman and Courtney Sims

Embarking on a purr-accommodate of innovation, two adventurous hackers, Christine Seeman and Courtney Sims, established out to greatly enhance the lives of their feline mates. 

This workforce developed interactive toys, video games, and even a new cat authentication gadget, so our kitty friends can a lot more quickly log into our desktops late at night and chat with their good friends about earth domination! 

As a nod to their creativeness, the workforce donated their winnings to Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit doing work to strengthen the life of all cats and kittens.

Look for Cowboy: Pardner 1st

screenshot of the Search Cowby search engine created by Byanca De La Fuente and Daniel Urdialez

A pair of very first-time hackers, Byanca De La Fuente and Daniel Urdialez, lassoed success with their generation: Look for Cowboy, a impressive internal look for tool. 

Their mission? To elevate the shopper experience by surfacing applicable information from a number of interior expertise sources like Jira and Expert, empowering our award-successful assist groups with the information and facts they need at lightning velocity. If the facts is out there, Research Cowboy will aid us spherical it up. 

For their Purchaser Motivated get, the workforce donated their winnings to Latino Outdoor, an corporation dedicated to developing a world wherever all Latino communities appreciate mother nature as a safe and sound and inclusive area.

GoQueue: Tighten the Bootstraps

screenshot of queuing system dashboard created by Eric Miller, Daniel Ayvar, Alexander Wilcots, William McKinnerney, Wyatt Tall, and Nate Gay

This workforce breathed new lifetime into a five-yr-outdated hackathon undertaking to replace our growing old site visitors queuing system. Dependable for routing billions of daily requests, this system permits WP Engine’s WordPress system to distribute computing assets equitably as website visitors fluctuates. 

The aim was apparent: attain performance parity with our existing queuing technique. Not only did this undertaking clearly show promising effects, but it also carried out a new weighted truthful queuing algorithm in Golang. 

In recognition of their achievement, team members Eric Miller, Daniel Ayvar, Alexander Wilcots, William McKinnerney, Wyatt Tall, and Nate Gay selected to shell out it forward by donating their winnings to Fund Texas Decision, a nonprofit providing Texans with obtain to abortion healthcare.

Cowboys of the Dark: Shiniest Buckle in Town

image depicting how creators Adam Kostuch, Adam Łapiński, Alex Butler, Donagh Kelleher, Marwa Saad, Robin Olaya, Ryszard Borzych, Sarah Ricker, Teresa Gobble, and Tyson Reeder created a dark mode for the WP Engine portal

Responding to buyer responses like “My retinas are burning,” this workforce braved the globe of CSS, Product UI, Typescript, React, Ruby, and just a trace of Sass to develop WP Engine Consumer Portal: Dim Manner. 

Thanks to their initiatives, reduction for our eyes might quickly be on the horizon. All credit history goes to these talented crew associates: Adam Kostuch, Adam Łapiński, Alex Butler, Donagh Kelleher, Marwa Saad, Robin Olaya, Ryszard Borzych, Sarah Ricker, Teresa Gobble, and Tyson Reeder. 

To celebrate their gleaming new buckle, the crew donated their winnings to the Kessler Foundation, which drives life-switching rehabilitation research for people with disabilities.

The Info Desperados: The Platinum Prospectors Prize

flowchart illustration how the new database layer created by Justin Reasoner, Ty Christensen, and Ian Meron

For this Hack, Justin Reasoner, Ty Christensen, and Ian Meron developed a new database layer for our WordPress hosting platform. 

The goal was to different some of our stateful workloads from our classic hosting stack. This staff exceeded their initial intention and created a hugely readily available Kubernetes services that would be less complicated to control than our current databases solution. 

The effects of this project on the future of web hosting at WP Engine cannot be overstated, and that is why it received The Platinum Prospectors Prize. The group donated their winnings to Feeding The united states, contributing to the fight from hunger.

ChatWPYee-Haw: Girish Byraiah’s AI Code Wrangler Award

screenshot of an answer provided by the ChatWPYee-Haw AI assistant which was created by Ben Turner, Drew Holt, Eric Haase, Eric Hoanshelt, Justin Lim, Mehar Gangishetti, Parul Priya, Peter Nuernberg, Ramya Iyer, Silver Bowen, and Spencer Putnam

This workforce proved the fundamental technologies that WP Engine could use to produce an intelligent assistant for internal use. Leveraging Google’s Vertex AI Lookup, this crew produced a generative AI language model that integrates into Slack. 

Their development delivered a stellar interactive demo, delivering the greatest cowboy details this side of the Mississippi. This challenge opens the doorway to long term styles educated on inside expertise sources similar to the types employed by the Look for Cowboy undertaking. 

Ben Turner, Drew Holt, Eric Haase, Eric Hoanshelt, Justin Lim, Mehar Gangishetti, Parul Priya, Peter Nuernberg, Ramya Iyer, Silver Bowen, and Spencer Putnam donated their winnings to Physicians With no Borders, which delivers all over the world emergency health-related support.

The spirit of innovation and collaboration we witnessed through the Previous West Hackathon is something we carry with us every single working day at WP Engine. Our dedication extends to fostering an ecosystem where employees are empowered to examine new strategies and choose dangers. Believing this ethos propels our ongoing innovation and progress.

Have you participated in other fascinating Hackathons? Make sure you share your ordeals with us in the opinions! 

If you’re eager to saddle up for our next Hackathon, WP Engine welcomes passionate people today to join our Engineering groups. Remarkable alternatives await, which include our current announcement of 20 new position openings at our award-profitable Limerick business

For a lot more aspects, pay a visit to our professions site.