Teams from UShareSoft and Goats

At the end of last year, we teamed up again with the French “Nuit de l’Info” (or Tech Night), a national coding event which sees business partners throw down programming challenges to students across the country. This year’s theme was road safety and all the applications needed to be linked to that theme in some way.

True to our DNA, UShareSoft’s challenge to the students focused on how they could use automation and DevOps processes to accelerate the development and delivery of their code–with 1000 euros prize money up for grabs for the winning team!

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) is accepted throughout the industry as one of the best approaches for speeding up application release cycles. UShareSoft’s UForge platform lets users model their application stack as a template, then automatically deploy on any cloud, container or virtual infrastructure.

UForge templates can easily be integrated into a DevOps tool chain to speed up release cycles from dev to production. The students needed to build such a template and implement CI/CD processes as they developed their application, to enable them to complete tasks faster and participate in multiple challenges more easily.

Specifically the challenge for the students was to use UForge and the associated open source hammr tool to:

  1. Produce a model of the application stack and its runtime environment in either YAML or JSON format and ensure that the application deployment could be fully automated ie. up and running without any manual intervention required
  2. The model had to follow strict version control rules, and could be located in a public Git or SVN repository
  3.  Add the build environment into a Jenkins integration toolchain and provide the necessary Jenkins file

A number of student teams took up the challenge. And a couple of weeks ago, we were happy to welcome representatives from the winning Goats Team to the UShareSoft offices in Grenoble to award their prizes.

As the Goats Team developed their road safety application, they used hammr to create a UForge template containing the necessary .deb packages that made up the runtime environment. In addition, this included a first boot script which enabled automatic installation of all components and ensured that a user was not manually required to install the server This enabled the Goats Team to quickly integrate and deploy their application for testing, meaning they could constantly test and feedback until the application was ready to go. Despite a few minor technical hitches during the challenge, the Goats Team found that using this type of template modeling was a very practical approach to continuous integration and deployment. The challenge was an enriching experience which let them learn the basics of automated deployment and more about DevOps processes overall.

Congratulations to the Goats Team and we’ll be looking forward to the next Tech Night later this year!