'ShipIt Day' comes to the Laboratory

Sept. 4, 2012

'ShipIt Day' comes to the Laboratory

Delaynie A Koenig, koenig7@llnl.gov
Call it a cross between a flash mob of coders and brainstormers and a little healthy competition a la "American Idol."

Late last month, Lab employees participated in the inaugural "ShipIt Day," a competition-centered brainstorming marathon to develop new ideas for Global Security, Livermore Computing (LC) and Applications, Simulations and Quality (ASQ). The event took place in the High Performance Computing Innovation Center, located in the Livermore Valley Open Campus.

ShipIt Day was pioneered by Atlassian, a shipping company that marketed their idea to other companies by "sharing the spirit of innovation."

LLNL put its own twist on the proceedings, and organizer Xinh Huynh of Global Security was extremely satisfied with the results. "For the Lab, ShipIt Day provided a creative outlet to those who had an idea but lacked the time to fully conceptualize it," Huynh explained. "Especially when it comes to Global Security, the constant push forward and the urge to think creatively should be embraced and utilized.

"The best part for me was the presentations: Getting to see the awesome projects that the teams developed," she said.

The 22 participants were given 24 hours to create a project and present it to the panel of judges in an "American Idol" style voting process. The judges consisted of Erin McKinzie of Global Security, Jamie Van Randwyk of Computation, and Sue Marlais of the CIO office." Each presentation was limited to five minutes.

After voting, Irina Abramova, Kyle Dickerson and Eileen Manarello, all from Global Security, were declared the winners. The team designed an app to make EleCent data readable and accessible on Android devices. EleCent, a structured database formatted to aid with data ingestion and analysis, can now be tailored to user's different lifestyles and world-views with this mobile technology.

Runners-up Josh Oakgrove and Tim Bender, also from Global Security, developed a Klout score addition to LabBook to allow users to view their influence. Klout, which measures influence based on the ability to drive action on social networks, is determined by 12 different factors, including subscribers, bookmarks, and blogs. The sum of these products is instantly calculated when a profile is viewed. Oakgrove and Bender are eager to improve their product by factoring in other users' Klout scores when commenting on other pages, among other modifications.

Kyle Halliday and Ed Seidl were the other runners-up, creating an integration of DocEx with an Accumulo-based document store. Because of their project, users could load documents from an Accumulo table into a DocEx Solr index. This would allow for greater exploratory data analysis of the documents and overall better performance.

The first ShipIt Day was deemed a great success, and participants offered up groundbreaking ideas to further Global Security in creative, pragmatic ways, Huynh said.