Written by Ajay Balamurugadas, AVP, Qapitol QA
It all started as a wish. We saw the leaderboard and a few companies had already submitted papers and we were not even aware of the CTHackathon contest. We were not even on the Leaderboard and there was close to a month left to submit the papers to the conference. May 31 was the deadline to submit the papers. We decided on April 19th that we will top the leaderboard by winning as many contests on the way to the final conference.
We saw that the leader had 7000 points and each paper submission gave 100 points. We were 100 employees and the planning started from April 19. Everything was done offline so that no one got a clue that had our eyes on the leaderboard. The automation script to submit the paper from an excel sheet to the townscript was also in progress. Based on the task (proposing a new topic, reviewing the paper, creating slides/lab index, creating the script to upload the submission), there were multiple team members volunteering for the task.
Everything was going smooth and it was the final day of paper submission. Some of the members had to drop off at the last minute due to client work and we were a few hours away from the 11.59 pm deadline. A SWAT team was formed at 5.30 pm and the plan was to finish everything by 11 pm. It was a Friday and the team was supporting from their homes. Network interruptions, power cuts and a long week – nothing could stop us from meeting the deadline of submitting 109 papers to the conference.
If we are participating, nothing less than topping the leaderboard. Reaching the top is not as difficult as compared to staying at the top.
We had a dedicated team cracking the questions independently followed by a review from two members. Then we submitted the entries for the quiz. Even this was automated. One should remember that all of this was done in addition to regular work for our clients. There were shifts and multiple members pitched in. There were no superheroes in all this effort. It was a perfect example of the team work. A team wrote the script for updating the quiz entries and the next team took over for the next quiz. Right from freshers to those who were leading multiple projects, everyone pitched in. We won in all the quizzes and strengthened our lead.
It was getting a bit competitive internally. Each project member within our company wanted to contribute their bit to the leaderboard points. Irrespective of the role, project, location, we were participating in this challenge too. As it was an independent contest, we left it to each one’s experience to crack it. The first one was won by a tester with two years of experience.
While this was happening, we had two papers and four lab sessions selected for the final presentation. It was the first presentation experience for the four of us.
We sent a team for the AutomATAhon contest too. It was one day before the conference and though we did not win it, it was a rich learning experience for the first timers.
We were the first runner up for the best interactive session and there were better candidates for the best interactive session and the best labs.
There were also blogging and selfie contests on both the conference days. We won the blogging contest and it added a good 5000 points to our kitty.
And guess what, with all the participation from 100+ team members and the effort over eight months, we topped the Leaderboard with more than 10000 points lead.
Each one of you contributed to this win. Some contributed to the contests, some of you ensured that the delivery to the clients did not get affected when we were occupied with contest deadlines. A wholesome team effort. Be proud of yourselves. This is just the beginning. There are more leaderboards to be toppled and with such enthusiasm and skills, nothing is impossible!