ServiceNow Developer Marketing reporting from the middle of the Arizona desert heat (fortunately,inside an air conditioned building). Dateline: Day #1 of a 2-day hackathon at a large ServiceNow customer in the financial services sector.
It's been my pleasure to attend this event and learn and observe the ingenuity and creativity of the ITSM development team at this ServiceNow customer. There are 65 developers in 13 teams competing here in Arizona and in India. It's a very cool setup with the teams situated in multiple locations and rooms around the building, with a quasi-central developer area and canteen where all the food and bev is continuously available. And there's plenty of it to fuel the innovation.
This event is a combined effort of the customer and ServiceNow - there are a lot of ingredients, and it takes a team effort to make it a success. Here are a few of those ingredients to give you a flavor of what I'm talking about:
- Food and Beverage
- Team formation and registration
- Pre-hack training
- Technical support before and during - this one utilizes a private ServiceNow Community subspace and is monitored by ServiceNow technical experts, as well as onsite ServiceNow solutions consultants
- Instance provisioning incl. any special technical requirements
- Event theme, branding, and promotion internally to the developer community
- Executive sponsor to help make things happen
- Judging Criteria, Judges, and Judging (yes, it's important!)
- Prizes and giveaways
To see the customer and the ServiceNow account team collaborate on this initiative is awesome. As my colleague Nick noted, Hackathons are a win-win so it only makes sense to collaborate. Hackathons are fundamentally an opportunity for developers at ServiceNow customers to leverage the power of the ServiceNow Platform by creating new enterprise SaaS apps, integrations, and extensions that deliver value to their company in different ways. For example, via new use cases, improving workflows that are broken or inefficient, or porting cumbersome apps from stale or dying platforms to ServiceNow, where they can be reborn as modern, efficient, and effective apps. It's also a great opportunity for relatively informal, ad-hoc,in-depth,face-to-face discussions between the customer and the account team to discuss and address any business or technical issues and requests they might have on their minds. And it's about community building - a highly social event - the vibe here is really upbeat - lots of smiling faces, active discussions, and interactions. Always great to see!
Here are just a few highlights of the app concepts I had the privilege of seeing in development today during a walk around tour of the development teams, led by the executive sponsor:
- Marketplace for app components that can be discovered and utilized by other developers
- Major incident auto-voice bridge setup and recording (using Twilio) and Outlook meeting notice using on-call rotation
- Voice-activated incident creation and bio-metric (thumbprint) re-authentication
- Genius bar - badge scanner for asset inventory, incident creation, position in queue and wait times
The hackathon coding ends on 9/29 (Day #2), followed by pre-judging on 9/30 and Final Judging on 10/1. Nick will be covering that in another blog post so stay tuned for that! Good luck to all the teams, and happy hacking! I can't wait to see who the winner is.