Hackathons: unleash the monkeys

Hackathons: unleash the monkeys


Every now and then, you need to shake up your daily routine to keep innovations flowing. Some companies brainstorm, others prefer morning yoga… at RISK IDENT, we do also hackathons.

At a hackathon, we gather our engineers and product experts from all teams to try out various new technologies and methods. By putting our heads together, we can cultivate ideas; we’re able to focus and enjoy an all-round great day of novel ideas, coding and pizza!

Last week, we hosted our latest RISK IDENT hackathon to evolve our testing and quality assurance. We explored a ton of new approaches, finding interesting takeaways in Monkey Testing.

Monkey Testing is a method of stress testing software. Testing our application, each monkey is a very simple script: It clicks a button, opens the menu or hits some keys. Now, a whole box of monkeys is released. The scripts will randomly do their task: one will open a page, another will enter some text randomly. This way they will use the application in a way that was not foreseen or planned.

The infinite monkey theorem hypothesizes that if you give a monkey a typewriter and a millennium, eventually it will come to write works of William Shakespeare. In our case, we were checking for errors in the application log files – and there wasn’t much time from unleashing the monkeys before we found a few glitches. By allowing ‘monkeys’ to hack into software, we were able to examine how the system reacts to this kind of stress and ensure our software can cope.

Along with interesting results, it was great to see the cross team collaboration and having fun while doing so!

If you’d like to know more about introducing monkey testing as a method of quality assurance, you can read more about it here. To find out more about hackathons, feel free to click here. Note that the word hack is used in the meaning of creative programming, not computer crime!