No slacking at #TeamCloudNative hacking: CNCF CloudNativeHacks hackathon

This blog post is part of our Essential Guide: KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2024 news coverage

What’s a hard-core cloud-native focused conference without a solid fingers-to-keyboard code challenge?

Well, nothing, clearly.

Thankfully the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) knows this immutable truth as solidly as the rest of us; the Paris, France-located KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe event this month saw the winners announced for the first, second, and third-place winners of CloudNativeHacks

The hackathon was staged by the CNCF in collaboration with the United Nations and the event was sponsored by Heroku.

CloudNativeHacks was designed to focus on advancing the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim was for individuals and teams to develop a proof of concept to help support the UN’s development goals, working together to solve pressing issues and contribute meaningfully to creating a better, more sustainable world.

Winner winner, poulet dinner!

First place: Team Urban Unity – Carolina Lindqvist and Syed Ali Raza Zaidi, which addresses SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

Team Urban Unity from Switzerland and the UK developed a proof of concept for a platform that democratises urban planning policies. They created a map where urban planners can drop a pin if they want to create a new building, but perhaps the local neighbours want to create a park and so can provide feedback about it. It is a platform for the people and run by the people. 

Second place: Team Forrester – Radu-Stefan Zamfir, Alex-Andrei Cioc, George-Alexandru Tudurean, which addresses SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 15: Life on Land.

Team Forrester, from Romania, developed an app that spreads awareness and handles automatic detection and monitoring of deforestation globally, leveraging AI, open source software, and publicly available data such as satellite imagery. 

“As we celebrate ten years of Kubernetes, it has been an honour to see #TeamCloudNative come together to use cloud native technologies to help create a more sustainable future,” said Arun Gupta, vice president and general manager of open ecosystem at Intel and chairperson of the governing board for CNCF. “I am so proud of the participants and want to congratulate the winners.”

Third place: Team Potato – Inhwan Hwang, Sungjin Hong, and Myeonghun Yu which addresses SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Team Potato from Korea developed a project that creates a crowd-guarded route, a collaborative map using luminance to gauge the safety of a chosen walking path.

“Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever CloudNativeHacks event,” said Priyanka Sharma, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “It was inspiring to see the diverse and innovative ideas and I am thrilled that cloud-native technologies were the building blocks  for creating applications that help impact our world for generations to come.” 

The hackathon was presided over by a panel of judges from the cloud-native community and the United Nations, including:

  • Carlos Arango Gutierrez, senior systems software engineer at capitalisation-focused company Nvidia.
  • Erin Boyd, distinguished engineer, director of emerging technologies at Red Hat.
  • Kelsey Hightower, distinguished software engineer and developer.
  • Rajas Kakodkar, senior member, technical staff, VMware.
  • Omar Mohsin of the open source program office at the United Nations.
  • Alena Prokharchyk, principal software Engineer at Apple.

Winners received $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500 respectively. 

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