EuroSTAR is all about connections, so we love seeing local testing communities come together to celebrate testing. SmartBear hosted a meet-up as part of the TeamSTAR Competition and it looked awesome (scroll down and have a look at the pictures and videos)! The event was a DOOM Hackathon and it was a great success.
Here’s what Patrick Caroll, (SmartBear) had to say about the event..
SmartBear DOOM Hackathon TeamSTAR Meet-up 2019
For our 2019 entry into the TeamStar meet-up competition, we wanted to create a software testing meet-up with a difference. Our goal was to host an event, which was unique and fun, that brought the local testing community together. With this in mind, our first priority was to setup an internal team. It was important for us to have a strong team that consisted of members across different departments, after all, we were entering a competition called TeamSTAR! So it made perfect sense to put teamwork at the front and centre of all aspects of our meet-up!
A Software Testing Meet-Up with a Twist
Our team consisted of members from our Marketing, Solutions Engineering and Development departments. With our team in place, next it was time for some good old fashioned brainstorming! During our brainstorming sessions it was decided to focus on five key objectives:
Our meet-up must be:
- Fun & competitive
- Involve teamwork
- Desirable to software testers and developers
- Help build relationships within the testing community in our local area
A Testing Challenge for Software Testers & Developers
After some more brainstorming sessions and discussions we had our idea, our team decided to host hackathon! But not just any old run of the mill hackathon. Our hackathon would have a testing twist, to test our testers! Our attendees/hackers were challenged to create an automatic speed run through the first level of the classic 90’s game DOOM, using only RESTful API calls.
What if John Romero was Involved?
We knew we wanted to hold a DOOM Hackathon, our next thought was imagining how crazy it would be if John Romero (the co-creator of DOOM) knew what we were planning on doing with his creation. So we decided to find out! After reaching out to John Romero, and discussing the event with him, he was more than happy to be involved and confirmed his support for the event. John was also kind enough to visit our office, where he spent time discussing all things DOOM and of course our hackathon. He also kindly gave us some cool signed DOOM merchandise as prizes. But wait there’s more! The winning team would also get a tour of Romero Games and have a Q&A session with John himself.
For our location we only had one place in mind – The PorterShed. The Portershed is the local innovation centre in Galway. They have always been more than supportive of our events in the past and as usual they were more than happy to accommodate our DOOM Hackathon.
Open Call for the DOOM Hackathon
We utilised many different digital channels to help promote the event to the testing community. To register for the event, attendees were required to register on a purpose built signup page on our website. We were amazed with the response! The demand for places was so great, we had to close registration after only a few days. To help attendees prepare, we created a series of emails, with instructions and videos to help them get ready for the hackathon. In total, we had 50 attendees, from 10 different companies based in Galway.
Pizza, Beer, Hacking & DOOM, Yes Please!
Before attendees arrived on the night, our team got to work setting up a reception area, where pizza and beer was served. With the food and small talk out of the way, it was time for the main course! Each team was shown to their team tables, were they would find a sign-in sheet, name tags (thanks for the name tags EuroSTAR!) and some cool SmartBear & EuroSTAR swag. After a brief presentation on the Hackathon rules, the upcoming EuroSTAR Conference and the TeamSTAR competition, we just had enough time for a couple of DOOM trivia questions before the hacking started!
A Night to Test the Testers
Our hackers used both SwaggerHub and SoapUI Pro during the competition. SwaggerHub was used for the API documentation that allowed users to hack the game. While SoapUI Pro was used to send RESTful API requests to control the in-game character (DOOM Guy). Our very own Ole Lensmar (Creator of SoapUI) and Wes, couldn’t resist getting involved! On the night we had a team of SmartBear experts on hand to help any teams who needed a little help or support. After two hours of furious hacking, eating and some drinking, we had a winner, Team EssentialSkillZ. They managed to hack the first level of DOOM, using only RESTful API calls in thirty eight seconds, amazing work guys! John would be proud of your automated speed run. We hope you enjoy your tour at Romero Games.
Closing Thoughts & Why We Love Working with EuroSTAR
At SmartBear, we pride ourselves on having a strong relationship with the software testing community. Nights like the DOOM Hackathon are a great way to promote the sharing of new and exciting ideas. The feedback from all participants was amazing, with many asking “when is your next hackathon?” We must also take this opportunity to extend a special thank you to all involved, this meet-up would not have been possible without all of your hard work and support. Our team would also like to acknowledge the pivotal role EuroSTAR play in supporting these local meet-ups. We would highly recommend organisations to get involved in the TeamSTAR Meet-Up Competition, as the experience and sense of community it provides is priceless! We are now looking forward to see you all at EuroSTAR in Prague, make sure you pop by the SmartBear booth, and ask Dermot about his DOOM experience!