We recently announced the addition of our new Associate Vice President of Innovation, Robin Gupta, to the Provar team, our exciting foray into ProvarLabs, an incubation center for innovation within Provar. It’s safe to say that we’re leaning into one of our fundamental values – innovation – and are looking toward the future.

To kickstart ProvarLabs, Robin spearheaded our first internal Hackathon, an event where employees came together to focus and collaborate on improving or creating a usable piece of software or service. The Hackathon was designed to promote team building, reinvigorating at work, meeting new people, and driving innovation forward. At its close, it became clear that this event sparked much more than that. Despite operational and vendor issues, bad weather, and sketchy internet, new friendships were built, friendly competition ensued, and there was plenty of fun and laughter along the way.

ProvarLabs’ first Hackathon consisted of 40+ participants from Provar, 4 semi-final teams, and 2 winners. A big congratulations to teams Binary Souls and Dad.Under.Test for their winning ideas!

There were limited parameters to keep innovation at its height, but all submissions were expected to adhere to the following:

This “Mission to M.A.R.S,” outlined further in our recent blog post, is the crux of the ProvarLabs initiative. With every innovation, we look toward these values to ensure we’re moving in the right direction, and we are proud that our community, technology, and future goals align.

The Binary Souls team won the first prize, creating an innovative solution to ingest logs from multiple points into a real-time analytics engine, powering data visualizations for our customers. This would provide real-time monitoring and observability of the tests for our users.  

The Dad Under Test team won the second prize, where our engineers created a plugin for smooth CI/CD configuration of Provar tests for our users. 

The People’s Choice Award went to the Provar Xperts team, who created a Google Chrome plugin to create web element locators for automation test cases accurately.

The Process

This Hackathon quickly rocketed to the moon, beginning on July 28th and concluding on August 2nd. Teams began forming on June 17th and had until July 8th to register officially. Between then and July 29th, the countdown was on!

Those selected to move on to the semi-finals each made three-minute presentations of their demos and answered two minutes of questions. On a scale of 1 to 10, they were rated on the following:

  • The novelty of the idea
  • Completeness of the solution
  • Presentation/pitch
  • Relevance to the theme and Salesforce/Provar ecosystem

From there, four teams moved to the final round, making five-minute pitches and engaging in another two minutes of Q&A. On August 2nd, the winners were notified, and the winning ideas were moved into the planning stage.

We will soon launch the Hackathon submissions as innovative prototypes for our users to improve the reliability and scalability of their test cases.

The Future

What’s next for ProvarLabs (other than more Hackathons, of course!)? Here’s a glimpse of strategic initiatives within ProvarLabs: 

  • Launch moon-shot projects and front load failures: Innovation is all about experimentation and thinking big, so we will explore innovative technologies like AI, blockchain, cloud, and edge computing, among others, to launch moon-shot projects for our customers.
  • Innovation maturity management: We will manage innovation as a portfolio to ensure a smooth, seamless process from ideation to delivery and support. 
  • Fostering a culture of innovation: Innovation across the ecosystem will be nurtured as part of our culture with tactical tools such as design thinking, brown bag sessions, and Hackathons.
  • Evangelizing innovation inside and outside our organization: We will also promote innovation amongst our team members, community, and users so that we can make and break the mold in a decentralized, open, and transparent fashion.

Go behind the scenes of ProvarLabs’ first Hackathon with these team photos! We look forward to sharing more ProvarLabs initiatives with you as we continue driving innovation.