Container Solutions Hackathon

Mohammed Nawaz
Dec 8, 2019 · 4 min read

This Saturday I went over Microsoft Reactor, London for a newly hosted event by Container Solutions in this city, the Distributed Cloud Native Hackathon. It was a fair distance to travel and a 9 am start time on a Saturday had me wanting to stay in bed. All I can say is it was definitely worth the effort and I won’t be missing any future events if I can help it.


What was unique about this event?

While attendees were gathering at Microsoft Reactor in London, over in Playground in Berlin there were also attendees gathering for a DISTRIBUTED CLOUD NATIVE HACKATHON. We had video conferencing set up on both sides so that we were able to see each other and communicate.


London Time:

09:00 — Introduction09:30 — Team Formation + Distribute info
10:30 — Hacking12:30 — Presentation of the projects so far, over lunch
14:00 — Hacking19:00 — Final Presentation and judging of the prizes

Berlin Time:

10:00 — Introduction10:30 — Team Formation + Distribute info
11:30 — Hacking
13:30 — Presentation of the projects so far, over lunch
15:00 — Hacking
20:00 — Final Presentation and judging of the prizesWhat did we get up to?

What we got up to for the day:

So we started with David Zisky coming around to each of us an asking us what we are looking to get out of the session on that day. A lot of us were quite new to Kubernetes and Cloud Native, It turned into more of a training session. Where we spoke about what Cloud Native is, as well as some quick Kubernetes theory before getting our hands dirty. We were provided with a URL that we could login to and start deploying applications within our own namespaces. We also had an example we could use that was already in the environment or pull from Github. So we started to build and break out applications and deployments, which is always a good way to learn.

We had great talent from Container Solutions that would also help us (Charlotte Mach, David Zisky)

Of course, what meet up doesn’t have pizza for lunch?

While we were enjoying time collaboratively building, breaking and learning in this environment, as well as our friends in Berlin doing the same, something was happening in the background. David was working away building a Nerf Gun, connected to a motor, Arduino and a laptop. In Berlin, the same thing was happening. Then it was announced that were done with the Kubernetes stuff for the day and now we are going to participate in a competition.

Berlin vs London!!!

There were nerf guns set up on each side and the aim of the game was to hack each others API given a URL, but I don’t want to give too much away, so future Hackathons stay fun. So we were attacking Berlin and they were attacking out URL. Then once successful the Nerf gun on the Berlin side started shooting bullets at them thanks to a small bash script from our side which helped us win.

We finished off the day listening to short presentations about what people had built along with some demos. Let's just say Berlin had us beat in that department as we were all still quite new to all this technology, but the presentations gave us ideas for future events.

Some examples of what people build during these Hackathons:

  • Kubernetes
  • Build an operator
  • Build a CLI tool for improving Kubernetes user-friendliness
  • Experiment with Istio
  • Experiment with Knative
  • Experiment with Trow, an in-cluster image registry
  • Play around with Rancher’s lightweight Kubernetes distro, k3s
  • Build your own CDN
  • Build a Cloud Native App

The guys over at Container Solutions put together an amazing event and you should keep up with them on twitter for any future events. It was a wonderful experience, motivating me to learn more and for me personally to do some more hands-on engineering work. This was a great way to learn from not only the guys over at Container Solutions but also each attendee that was there, everyone brought something different to the table.

A Special thanks to Lavinia Bucur, David Zisky, and Charlotte Mach. As well as Microsoft for the event space, but most importantly to Container Solutions for making these kinds of events possible. I think I can speak for all of Team London when I say we look forward to the next one.

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