December saw the AirWalk Christmas 2018 Hackathon. These two-day events are a chance for our Engineers to come together in the AirWalk office and work in small groups on something that they find interesting and which doesn’t have to be in any way work-related. There are, however, a few rules. For one, Engineers must work in a team of at least two – nobody should be sitting on their own not collaborating with anyone. Also a demo or presentation must be made to the whole group on the morning following the end of the Hackathon. Even if the project didn’t achieve what was intended, there will still be something to say about what was attempted and what was learnt along the way.

Notable projects this time included an automated EC2 Incident Response process based on this PoC from AWSStep Functions are used to automate the process of isolation and data gathering once an EC2 instance has been declared suspicious. There appears to be great potential in expanding on this small project to build automation and incident response runbooks that will save a large amount of time for operations and security teams should a real security incident occur.

A slightly more light-hearted project linked an Arduino microcontroller and a temperature sensor with a Slack bot via an EC2 instance to provide real-time readings of how warm the office was and to display historical graphs on-demand showing various time periods.

The event was also a chance for people to work together who may normally be based in different locations. Pizza was eaten, beer was drunk (responsibly), Christmas songs were played from the Echo and resistors were lost down the backs of desks.

And an ‘api Christmas was had by all.