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VMware CodeHouse: A Great Insight into the Future of Software Engineering

By Jonas Rosland

For the third year in a row, VMware CodeHouse gathered 20 technical Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. female students from a wide variety of U.S. universities for a weekend of coding, networking and fun. VMware CodeHouse is an annual event where teams of soon-to-be-graduated students tackle a technical challenge that will give back to the community. During this multi-day event, they experienced VMware’s 100-acre campus, networked with industry leaders and exchanged ideas with top technical minds.

“The idea of coding for a cause with 19 other women seemed super exciting and fun, and brainstorming technological solutions for pressing issues like inclusion & diversity and STEM education was my favorite part.” – Shivani Inamdar

Every attendee is currently interning at powerhouse organizations like PayPal, LinkedIn, Facebook, Coinbase, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cisco to name a few. They are working on machine learning, automated fraud and risk mitigation, high-frequency trading platforms, infrastructure automation, software-defined networks and much more. It really was a gathering of some of the brightest minds of the future!

VMware CodeHouse

The 20 attendees gathered into five teams where each was challenged to create a solution that will either advance STEM education and interest or increase diversity & inclusion in the tech industry. Each team had a female VMware software engineer as a mentor, some of which are previous VMware CodeHouse attendees. The teams were tasked with creating their solutions by building serverless functions using the open source OpenFaaS project and using existing external services and APIs. With OpenFaaS, you can package anything as a serverless function—from Node.js to Golang to CSharp, and even binaries like ffmpeg or ImageMagick.

“Functions as a Service was new to me and I understood its power, ease of use and technicalities during the course of the hackathon.” – Savitha Sameerdas

Before the 48-hour hackathon, the attendees completed the OpenFaaS workshop to be ready to roll when the event kicked off. The preparation proved valuable—as soon as introductions were completed, the ideas started to flow. Ideas were being shared across the tables, on whiteboards and pads of paper. During the hackathon, the attendees gained knowledge in several modern technology spaces, such as container technologies, serverless functions and cloud native applications.

VMware CodeHouse

On the final day of VMware CodeHouse, the attendees were treated to a presentation and Q&A session with VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger. During the session, they asked him about the future of AI, how to make sure it’s not hindered but also doesn’t get out of control, as well as how VMware advances healthcare and is making strides into the IoT space. As the day drew to a close, you could definitely feel the pressure was on, and everyone was heads-down in their laptops making final changes to their services, polishing their front-ends and finalizing their presentations.

The day ended with great presentations from each team, detailing what they built, why it would make an impact on STEM and/or diversity & inclusion and how they built it using OpenFaaS and other tools and services. The winning team’s submission was called “Serverless Multi-Language Video to Text,” and is aimed toward giving people across the globe access to information and knowledge by transforming audio from lecture videos into text in multiple different languages. Congratulations to the winners Carolyn Murray, Jasmine Dhillon, Cindy Zhou and Shihui Li, along with their project mentor Jeeyun Lim!

VMware CodeHouse

Do you want to know more about VMware CodeHouse and how to apply for next year’s event? Head on over to the event website here. Maybe you’d like to get more information on OpenFaaS, how it works and what you can do with it? Check out the project website here and our OpenFaaS recap and serverless blog post around OpenFaaS and Dispatch!

Stay tuned to the Open Source Blog for more coverage around community-based events and follow us on Twitter (@vmwopensource).

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