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Pramod Sareddy

HPE DEV Hack Shack Coding Challenges: Are You Ready to Compete?

October 30, 2020

coding challenge

I am really excited to announce that we have created a new community activity for you – the HPE DEV Hack Shack Coding Challenges. Typically we ran these challenges and physical events, but, because they became so popular, we are now providing them virtually. HPE DEV will post a coding challenge in the Hack Shack for the community to solve, offering cool prizes to those whose solution is chosen as the winner of the challenge. Submissions will be judged on technical achievement and completeness of the code and quiz answers. Winners will be notified and will be able to choose a prize from a given catalog.

The idea is to offer a fun event to the community that shares knowledge. The challenges have been designed to be simple enough that most data scientists, developers, and DevOps engineers can work on them. In this blog post, I’ll cover the details of the coding challenges program, including instructions for participants.

These challenges are being designed to offer students a hands-on method of understanding specific open source and HPE technologies guided by a subject matter expert (SME) and detailed instructions provided in a Jupyter Notebook format. Students will have access to other SMEs through Slack should any questions arise during their challenge session.

One challenge to get started, with more coming shortly

Many of these challenges will be extensions to technical workshops we’ve hosted in the past. You can find the video replays of these workshops on the HPE DEV Hack Shack. Through the workshops, students received hands-on experience with coding practices through an associated Jupyter Notebook. The HPE DEV Hack Shack challenges will utilize much of the same material, including the Jupyter Notebook. For those of you who are new to the topic being covered, it is recommended you watch the corresponding video replay first and then sign up for the challenge.

During the mid-month of November, we will start with a single challenge:

  • Deploy a front-end app on a Kubernetes cluster

Students will have 4 hours in which to go through the challenge, which includes time to review the video replay of the corresponding technical workshop, follow the Jupyter Notebook instructions, and save their work to their local laptop should they want to do more work in their own environment or retake the challenge. They’ll also be able to connect with SMEs through off-line support.

How it works

To take the challenge, go to the Hack Shack and navigate to the Challenges page. From there, select which challenge you want to take and click on the Challenge me button:

coding challenge

At this point, the registration panel pops up. Enter the details requested and click on the Take on the challenge button. In a matter of just a few minutes, you’ll start your challenge.

coding challenge

By pressing the Take on the Challenge button, you initiate a back-end automated registration process. This process spawns a dedicated notebook environment for you and sends you a welcome email indicating that you have been registered in the database.

welcome email

Not long after, it sends you a second email providing a link to your challenge Jupyter Notebook, along with your StudentID and password.

credentials email

IMPORTANT: Receipt of this email indicates that the challenge environment is ready for you to begin. Similar to our HPE DEV Workshops-on-Demand, you will have just 4 hours from the receipt of this second email to complete the challenge. It is recommended that you only register for a challenge when you know you will have the next 4 hours to work on it. We advise you to regularly save your work and download the Jupyter Notebook to refer to later should you not be able to finish the challenge within the given 4-hour time slot. If you cannot finish the challenge in that time, you will need to take the challenge again from the beginning.

When you click on the Start Challenge button found in your second email, it will bring you to a Sign In page where you will log into the challenge with your StudentID and the password provided in your second email.

jupyter sign in

Once you log in, open the challenge folder on the left by double-clicking on it.

jupter notebook home screen

Each notebook generally has several sections. Start with the Challenge Overview and follow the instructions from there to work on the challenge and how to submit your work.

jupter notebook

jupter notebook

Don’t forget to save your work

One hour prior to the end of the 4-hour period, you will receive an email reminding you that your session is coming to a close and that you should download the challenge notebook if you anticipate using it in the future. At the end of every session, the environment is cleaned up automatically, so be sure to save your work.

reminder email

At the end of the challenge, you will receive a final email indicating that the challenge is over. In the email, you will also be asked to take a short survey. The results of this survey will help us improve how we offer the challenges in the future. Your feedback is very important to our being able to meet your needs, so we encourage you to take just a few minutes to fill it out.

challenge end email

How to get help

You’ll have access to SME assistance through our challenges Slack channel. We staff the channel to answer questions between 4 am and 4 pm EST Monday through Friday. You may wish to ensure you schedule the timing of your challenge between those hours if you think you’ll have questions or need additional help.

There will be a limited number of seats available for each challenge. These seats will be filled on a first-come/first-serve basis. We look forward to the opportunity of offering these challenges to you and you can win cool prizes. Remember to check back on the HPE DEV blog for any further updates.


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