ROCKVILLE, Maryland – This summer FINRA hosted its first hackathon built around our Java Test Automation Framework (JTAF) Extensions for WebDriver (EWD) open source release. We opened up our Rockville campus - offering $504 in prize money - seeking an infusion of creativity to take JTAF-EWD to the next level. JTAF-EWD is an automated functional testing tool used by 74% of the FINRA application portfolio.
Hackathons deliver three key benefits, according to organizer Nil Weerasingh. They build the community and extend projects with no additional funding, allowing innovative ideas to come from different sources. They provide visibility to the cool technology FINRA is using and act as a recruiting driver.
Fifteen people competed in our inaugural hackathon which followed presentations with meetup groups in Washington and New York. FINRA colleagues Ben Bunk, Michael Chao and Chien-Hung Kuo joined forces as Team Joe to submit the winning entry. The trio added a Maven archetype to JTAF-EWD. The archetype provided an easy way to start a new project rather than complete a complicated multi-step process. “It jump-starts the learning curve and has everything set up for you,” said Chao, whose team spontaneously formed on the day of the event. “We planned it well,” Team Joe teammate Kuo said. "We were going to complete something rather than dream big and not finish."