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A Hackathon: Zarafa-style

Last Thursday and Friday the Zarafa development and support teams hijacked the main meeting room and converted it into the command center for the two-day Hackathon event. In an intensive combined effort all participants tackled various improvements and bug fixes for the Zarafa ZCP. To avoid distracting excursions to the coke machine the team set up a loaded refrigerator in the command center. Sufficient supplies of Club Mate, Red Bull and wide selection of German beers were available for an enduring session. The team joined into a key note from Eddie Izzard's "Encore on Computers".


Plan, organize and DO!

A hackathon without any detailed preparation is just a disaster waiting to happen. With a month of preparation in organization and development we have been looking forward to this dedicated Hackathon sprint. Clean up of Jira from really obsolete tickets and narrowed down to urgently required or often requested enhancements. This already resulted in a steep peak in the chart of closed issues. Especially the larger parts required some time before in preparation so the teams joining Hackathon could entirely focus on the finalization of implementation.

Us, working hard

How about the highlights?

Among the improvements were:

  • Security enhancements WebApp
  • Adding preliminary IPV6 support
  • Compiler compatibility changes
  • A new script for multi-server store listing of mailboxes (e.g. Archiver)
  • We added a new Outlook compatibility package within a few hours only (including QA)

Give me some stats, please!

In numbers the results are 629 commits, 17409 lines changed and 20 merges. Furthermore an advanced search prototype was set up to evaluate the integration of alternative search engines.

We were told there'd be consequences if that curve were to drop. :)

In the breaks some team members shared impressions from past demo party presentations and diverted into discussions about GPU powered 3D and fractal rendering while grabbing a bite of pizza.

This was our Hackathon in retrospect. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for our next Hackathon? Please drop them below in the comments!

Mike & Ryan




Good stuff!

Hi Guys,

Always fun to see a bunch of brilliant geeks hitting it off for 72 hours strong on nothing but beer, pizza and Red Bulll :-)

As for ideas; how about a twitter announcement up front where you can submit feature requests and you try to slip a few in the release :-) Kinda like the 'hackathon' you pulled off at Summercamp 2012 regarding WebApp widgets.



Excellent idea!

Good point Diederik, although this event was organized to really clear up tickets and customer issues. And to dive into some great tech innovations without the need of worrying about daily tasks. But, I think we can have a customer feedback list on the agenda nex time, for sure!

BTW, we wanted to do this hackathon because this kind of events enable us to focus on the little side projects that we badly want to do but usual don't have the time to do. And, it also gives us a valid reason to bring every Zarafa office to the Netherlands and to drink some great German beers ;)

Cheers, Lennart

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