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Okta Q1 Hackathon: Engineers Push Seamless Processes

When we flip the page on our calendar at Okta and begin a new quarter, our engineers know it’s time to get creative! Our engineering hackathons bring friendly competition, collaboration and best of all, improvements for our customers and our own internal infrastructure. The hackathon couldn’t have come at a better time after all of our engineers just gathered for an inspirational 2016 Engineering Kick-Off earlier this month.

As with each of our previous hackathons, engineers are encouraged to team-up to create products, improve existing functionality on current products or improve our operations to help with workflows and internal processes. All in all, everyone at Okta enjoys the break from day-to-day work and the opportunity to tap one of our core Okta values – innovation. We’re all innovators here at Okta and these hackathons are proof that the innovation never stops!

In March, we had 9 hacks presented in the engineering category, and 4 hacks in the product category. In addition to a winner for both engineering and product, we also awarded a winner for most creative and “fresh blood”-- best hack from teams with at least one new team member.

Check out the highlights from this quarter’s hackathon, hosted last week.

Engineering Category:
Winner: Cancel CI Run, CI Feedback (Ajinkya Suryawanshi, Kelsey Abe, Lars Johansen, Royal Chan)
The CI team’s goal was to come up with a way to enable developers to cancel “garbage” runs on bacon to save cost and resources. As they say, time is money and this team was looking to save a bit of both.

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Runner-Up: The HULK (Vinoth Jayaraman, Balaji Sundaram, Peter Yaworsky, Unmesh Vartak)
The HULK project focused on leveraging existing technologies and frameworks to improve the efficiency of Okta’s internal user update workflow. The team pursued leveraging Redis to significantly speed up the processing of these user updates.

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Product Category:
Winner: Just Push It (Yuming Cao, Naveen Keerthy)
Just Push It is seeking to  make customers’ lives more seamless by minimizing the manual process during login via Okta Verify and MFA.  A smoother process is delightful for both customers and end users.

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Runner-Up: SU Feature UI Improvements (Heidi Slater, Brian Zuzga, Gregory, Mau Silva)
This team asked the question to internal super users, “How much time have you wasted clicking through each tab using ⌘F?” SU Feature UI Improvements looked to add search, show associated editions/SKUs and more.

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Most Creative: Fast Auth (Magizh Thirunavukkarasu, Deen Ma, Gautham Gowrishankar)
Fast Auth is a quick and secure way to identify a user when contacting your local IT or customer support representative. This team is working to put an end to the days of spelling out names and giving out the last 4 digits of a SSN.

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Fresh Blood: Okta Job Insight (Prakash Killada, Jenny Kazarina, Mahesh Raju)
Okta Job Insight’s goal is to leverage the job table info in Okta’s DWH for improved access to job performance analysis and reports on trends. The more insight, the better.

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If you are interested in driving the innovation happening at Okta or are looking to step into the ring at our next hackathon, head to our careers page to see all of the open positions!

Becky Oliver
VP, Technology Program Management

Becky is the VP of Technology Program Management at Okta. Her team's main focus is enabling the success of Engineering and IT, partnering with technology managers, leads and individual team members to deliver agreed upon priorities. She also works cross-organizationally toward advancing strategic company initiatives. Becky has 20+ years of software / systems / infrastructure project and program management experience, and 10+ years experience working in team management. She is delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the continued growth of the Technology organization, and Okta overall.

Hector Aguilar
President, Technology

Hector Aguilar is the President of Technology at Okta, and is responsible for running engineering and technology. His focus is developing strategic planning for the direction of product development activities and managing the engineering team, as well as business technology and corporate IT.

Prior to Okta, Hector served in a variety of roles at ArcSight since its inception, driving technology development as the CTO and Vice President of Software Development for the company during its successful IPO in 2008 and after its acquisition by Hewlett Packard. Hector also has experience in software engineering and management at Impresse, ICA, Grupo Televisa and Ericsson, bringing over 25 years of networking, security and software development experience to Okta.

Hector earned his bachelor's degree in electronic systems engineering as well as his master's degree in computer science from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Hector also enjoys running and taking bike rides with his family.

Follow Hector Aguilar icon LinkedIn