HackoMania — Draup Hackathon

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” — Oscar Wilde

Draup hosted the 1st edition of its internal Hackathon challenge to give our teams a break from the daily grind (rut) and allow them to be at their creative best. It attracted widespread participation from our tech and non-tech ninjas. The idea was to allow teams comprising of coders, designers, business associates, psychologists and data scientists who were crazy enough to create something truly innovative. The hackathon was a 24-hour event and teams were expected to build their product within this window and present it to our in-house panel.

 

The Hackathon promoted the concept of idea conceptualization. The only real criteria were to have teams of 4 and to make sure the project was completed by 10 AM the next day. Teams were free to create any unique ensemble of talent that they felt added value to their project. In all, 13 different project ideas were conceptualized by 52 participants. We opensourced libraries and projects to help with Draup branding and to allow teams to create truly unique projects.

 

The D-Day

 

The ‘Hack-ateers’ came prepared armed with their gear, some even came prepared to pull in all-nighters. It was time to get down to business. With a strict 24-hour window, there was really no time to waste. 24-hours later, we were greeted by 13 different project ideas that could not be any more different from the other. Some wanted to automate processes, some teams focussed on improving efficiency, while others created something entirely new. Extra brownie points for teams with projects that were in line with our offerings on the Draup platform.

 

24-Hours Later

 

The madness came to an end 24-hours later only to be confronted by the difficult task of picking an outright winner. These creative powerhouses made sure that the panel members had a really hard time picking a winner with their unique projects and innovate pitches. Unfortunately, it’s in the nature of competition to have just one winner.

 

Some Notable Entries:

HACKATHON IDEAS

  1. Phoenix – Phoenix developed an analytical tool using Draup’s existing database service, Mongo dB and took it up a notch, by creating a framework around the platform which allows it to provide various stats like daily increase in collections, weekly trend of data coming in, infer the schema and be able to query using natural language query etc.
  2. i (iota) – iota worked on creating a digital expense reimbursement mechanism. The idea was to get approvals through an expense management system without having to physically get approvals from your manager. iota aimed to do just that, by extracting the time, amount and restaurant’s name from the bill, and stacking it up in the platform to make it easier for the manager to instantly process the claims.
  3. Cryptobuffs – We’re all aware of how big cryptocurrency is, and we’re also aware of the impact it has on the market. Now, imagine Draup having its own platform, and its own form of cryptocurrency, which can be used to close deals with B2B service providers and buyers directly, and not having to go through the agony of contacting third-party vendors. Team Cryptobuffs envisioned just that!
  4. The Newbies – The Newbies built a platform to upload multiple excel sheets at the same time, and annotate the text, check the data and not have any errors in the final draft. Not just that, it also works for PDF, and URLs as well.
  5. The Gamifiers – The thought of making code pushes fun and competitive is just what you’ll need to increase productivity. The team attempted to gamify software development and bring friendly competition to the development cycle. So, when a developer pushes code or completes a Jira ticket, he will be assigned a badge. Each badge is assigned some points and at the end of the week, they can get their names onto the overall leaderboard. Winners can be quantified based on several metrics such as completing 15 Jira tickets, writing 500 lines of Python Code, most social conversation channels on Slack etc.

 

Invincible Hacker

 

The Invincible Hackers presented an impressively accurate resume filter feature. The job-description based resume filter would recommend the top-N resumes which are most relevant for a specific job description and allowed you to scout the best possible profiles for a given role. It completely automated the manual process of scouring through potential profiles.

 

Can’t be Draupped!

 

A Draup-powered mobile app right in the pockets of our customers had our panelists’ interests peaking. What’s more, the app was equipped with voice capabilities that allowed users to search for corporate executives from our Rolodex library for their sales enablement and hiring needs.

 

And the Winner is…

 

Fabricate ML on a Click

 

The winning entry focussed on making Machine Learning models accessible to everyone! The team at Fabricate ML on a Click, did just that. Regardless of your technical background, you can create a Machine Learning model with just the click of a button. The project allowed users to create these models with minimal effort and training in Machine Learning. If the idea wasn’t already impressive enough, single clicking or drag-and-drop interfaces were a big part of their training models.

 

Our Hackathon Statistics:

 

52 overall participants
13 teams
4 members per team-3 technology specialists, 1 business leader
24 hours to code
1 winner
0 losers
∞ possibilities

 

It was clear that the teams were driven more by their inner desire to create something truly remarkable than by the prizes. It is this very drive to build great things that binds us all together here at Draup. If you’re to looking to start or further your career in technology, have the right skill-sets and the ability to be self-driven, we have exciting opportunities for you. Head over to our Careers section for a list of available openings in front-end and back-end roles.

 

US AI and Big Data Talent Assessment

Draup’s methodology to determine unique job roles consists of four phases, namely – harvesting relevant job descriptions, extracting technical & conceptual skills, clustering extracted skills to identify unique roles, and primary validation.

One of the key components of our methodology involves analysis of installed Big Data and AI workforce employed in G500* organizations, Start-ups and Service Providers. The current research papers in global AI and Big Data talent trends do not provide enough transparency in the methodology. Draup attempts to change that.

AI and Big Data/Analytics roles have been segregated in categories such as Big Data/Analytics, AI and Auxiliary each comprising of 7, 3 and 7 roles respectively. Big Data/Analytics roles includes Analyst – Data Quality Management, Data Warehouse Engineer, etc; AI roles includes Data Scientist, Applied Data Scientist, etc and Auxiliary roles includes Solutions Architect, Product Manager, etc.

Precisely estimating the talent suited for AI and Big Data involves several interviews and deeper understanding of technical stacks across resumes and profiles. The global Big Data & AI talent pool demand is roughly 1.2 million, installed talent in G500 companies, AI and Big Data/Analytics relevant installed talent is about 650,000.

How Microsoft Went from a Consumer Focused to Enterprise First Business

As early as the start of 2011, Microsoft was largely a consumer-focused business. They were still widely known as the developers of the Windows OS and 44% of their total revenue in 2011 was sourced from their consumer-facing products. At the time, Cloud Computing and Smart Devices were on the rise and the company recognized that the upcoming changes would drastically affect their future. They had a major decision to make. In their 2011 10-K, they mentioned the following,
“Microsoft is delivering experiences that seamlessly connect PCs and mobile and other devices through the cloud. We are devoting significant resources to consumer cloud offerings like Bing, Windows Live, and Xbox LIVE.”

At the time, Microsoft was trying to drive growth by incorporating innovative trends into their existing money makers – Windows, Bing and Xbox. While Microsoft had recognized the presence of disruptive trends and was reacting accordingly, the products they were focusing on contributed to a smaller % of their total revenue than their other offerings. For example, their enterprise-focused business units contributed to 25% and 32% of their overall revenue as opposed to 13%, 27% and 4% for their consumer business segments. Fast forward to 2014 and under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft announced a restructuring and pivot to three new focus areas:

1. Productivity & Business Processes
2. Intelligent Cloud
3. More Personal Computing

Post Nadella’s restructuring, Microsoft’s Business Segments became a lot more streamlined and were all contributing a similar percentage toward the overall revenue. The 2014 restructuring also points to shift away from consumers and towards enterprises as 2/3 business segments catered primarily to enterprises. In this article, we will examine this transformation and try to illustrate how exactly it occurred.

Increased Chatter in Earnings Calls

At Draup, we have built ML models that can identify the intentions/focus areas of companies using their investor relations call transcripts. In the last 12 years of doing these calls, Microsoft’s mention of Enterprises rose above their mentions of Consumers exactly when Nadella took over the reigns of the company. There was also a significant spike in 2011 when the company introduced the revolutionary Azure platform.

In 2011, Microsoft’s two favourite products to talk about were Office and Windows. Since then, Office has continued its evolution into Office 365, a cloud-based platform and a vital part of the Microsoft ecosystem. Azure also grew from nothing into Microsoft’s biggest money maker and another key component of Microsoft’s future. The introduction of Cloud Computing technology into these products ensured that Microsoft was in a great position to capitalize on the Digital Transformation revolution that a large percentage of businesses underwent.

In comparison, mentions of consumer-facing products such as Windows, Microsoft’s primary focus in 2011, have dropped by almost 80% since 2011. Bing, Surface, Skype and Xbox are also impacted by this seismic shift and saw their mentions last peak in 2011.
To dig deeper into the fall of Windows, we analysed the sentences that mentioned and tagged them according to the polarity of the language. Windows is at the heart of Microsoft and as a result the language is largely positive in nature. However, since that interesting year, 2011, Microsoft has started tempering their expectations of this product line and we have seen some negativity sneak into their language. The magnitude of negativity is still minimal but the fact that it starts at 2011, the same time that Azure and Office 365 begin their growth trajectories is very significant.

 

The chart describes the % of statements mentioning Windows that were tagged to either a positive sentiment (orange) or a negative sentiment (blue)

Increased Investment and M&A Activity

Microsoft’s M&A activity is the clearest signal that the company was planning a major restructuring. When Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he kickstarted the move away from consumer products. Nadella’s tenure began with a period of heightened M&A activity and his first full year in charge, 2015, saw almost as much M&A activity from Microsoft as the previous 3 years combined.
This trend continues when we look at the investment amounts (where disclosed) for each of these acquisitions. The percentage of total dollars spent on Enterprise acquisitions makes a significant jump in the Nadella era. This was primarily driven by the massive LinkedIn acquisition, but, the fact that this trend continues for the next 2 years means that it stands as a statement of intent from the company. The last 3 years have also seen Microsoft make 0 consumer product acquisitions.
The two biggest acquisitions of the Nadella era have been the massive $26 billion LinkedIn deal and the equally significant $7.5 billion GitHub acquisition. These have essentially given Microsoft access to data on a large percentage of the global workforce via LinkedIn as well as the top contributors to latest innovations in tech through GitHub. Put these two together and they could have visibility into most organizations’ deepest kept secrets. In any case, Microsoft have made themselves indispensable to the Enterprise ecosystem.

Microsoft has also invested in various smaller players in the Enterprise software ecosystem. Much like their M&A activity, the profile of companies Microsoft invested in has also seen a significant change in the years since the Satya Nadella takeover. Prior to the Nadella era, Microsoft predominantly invested in consumer software notably mobile applications and video games. Since then, they have focused more on enabling businesses and moved towards areas like productivity and communication tools.

 

The Future

Microsoft has gradually invested money and effort into pivoting their business towards serving the enterprises of the future. Nadella has already done an excellent job of reorganizing the business as they moved from their era of personal computing dominance to the current cloud and mobile-first period.
However, Nadella’s biggest challenge will be to ensure that Microsoft can maintain this momentum as they move into the AI and Mixed Reality era. As a result, in March of 2018, Nadella began another restructuring of the company that will see the company focus its operations around two main divisions: “Experiences & Devices” and “Cloud + AI”. This will allow them to drive growth in the Cortana and Azure platforms and their respective ecosystems.
The new strategy will also seek to integrate consumer platforms with the enterprise ecosystem. For example, their next big play could come in the realm of Mixed Reality and there is some noise coming out of Redwood, and specifically Nadella himself, surrounding Microsoft HoloLens’ disruption potential in the Enterprise ecosystem. In fact, they have already launched an enterprise edition of the HoloLens that aims at disrupting screens in the workplace and is currently being trialled by the likes of AutoDesk, NASA and Volvo.