Coding competitions/events like this are nothing new, but running a good one is never easy – required ingredients include a positive, nurturing culture, some serious organizational and editorial skills, and (of course) sharp developers. On this day, Wolters Kluwer, CCH had all three on display in spades.
POSITIVE NURTURING CULTURE? YES!
SERIOUS ORGANIZATIONAL AND EDITORIAL SKILLS? YES! (… and here’s where it gets interesting)
It is worth noting that the other mainstream award categories (which were, in fact, more prestigious because they were focused squarely on core business impact) were judged on a) Innovation, b) Technical Achievement, and c) Potential Value Generation. As such, no team would have included application analytics at all if they did not believe upfront that it would contribute in some material way to one or more of these three criteria.
…but, for me, it’s bigger than that – as those teams that included app analytics presented to the Code Games judges, those judges (and the 150+ dev. audience members) also got the message that app analytics is not just for website forensics and user clicks; and in this case, the judges panel included Wolters Kluwer, CCH executives, Teresa Mackintosh, President & CEO, Mark Lawler, VP Software Development, Brian Diffin, Executive VP Global Technology, and some of Wolters Kluwer, CCH’s own VIP clients – and now they all get it too!
|From right to left, Elizabeth, Teresa, Bernie, and me (photo-bombing this Wolters Kluwer, CCH "A-team")|
How’d they do it? Working with Bernie Hirsch, Director, Software Development at Wolters Kluwer, CCH, (the other half of the Code Games organizer dynamic duo) we setup a privately hosted PreEmptive Analytics endpoint in an Azure VM that matched their existing production analytics environment and that allowed dev teams to securely and easily add analytics to their projects – whether or not the apps ran on-premises, used client data, connected to internal systems, etc.
SHARP PROGRAMMERS? SERIOUSLY?? (Of course YES!)
As I've already said, I can’t describe specifically what these teams built, but here are a few factoids:
- Every team that decided to include app analytics succeeded.
- The teams instrumented apps running .NET, Java Script, and mobile surfaces and the apps themselves were both customer facing and internal, line of business apps.
- The teams collected session and usage data, exceptions, timing, and custom-app-specific telemetry too.
- While the applications ran the gamut from on-premises LoB and client-facing, all of the app telemetry was transmitted to Azure-hosted (private cloud) endpoints (and one app then pulled the data out and back into the very app that was being monitored! – but now I have to stop before I say too much).
- Not all teams incorporated analytics into their projects, but the most decorated team was one of those that did – NOT to track exceptions or page views – but as the backbone to one of their most powerful data-driven features for the business.
|Developer presentations ran into the evening in front of a packed house and 150+ employees watching remotely.|