What is it?

Somewhere around the beginning of the year a news struck over the Polish part of the internet, that Chmurowisko would organize a Cloud Computing Olympic Games, but before the finals - as during all sports events - there was a need for hosting a qualification round.

And the organizers planned those in the five Polish cities (Cracow, Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, and Wroclaw). First eliminations took place in Cracow on 12th of June. If organizers are reading it - Silesian region is feeling omitted, and we hope that we will have separate qualification round during next years. From each qualification round two the best cloud computing experts will go to the final that will take place this Autumn in Warsaw.

Since the day of the official announcement, I was really interested in challenging myself and checking if my skills are useful also in not so typical environments. Because, outside of the most popular cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform we had to face also less popular choices like CloudFerro or Aruba Cloud. You can read about the initiative in more detail here.

Qualification Round in Cracow

Mirek is explaining the rules

Before the contest started, we had some time to get to know the participants, network and exchange thoughts with organizers. At each table, there was an envelope with credentials allowing you to log into multiple cloud providers web-based interfaces. However, at that point, we still did not know how assignments would look like. We knew only that we should end around 3 PM and there would be five assignments with varying difficulty. Grades are dependent on the speed - the fastest person wins.

Credentials waiting to open

It turned out that indeed assignments have varying difficulty. In the first assignment we could use any cloud of choice, but later on, we had prerequisites regarding using a particular cloud provider for a given task. Besides the AWS we also touched Microsoft Azure, Aruba Cloud and last assignment that was focused entirely on a CloudFerro (former EO Cloud). That previous provided is definitely based on Open Stack because UI had mainly the same feeling.

Afterthoughts and Results

Oh boy! Whole competition was really fun and challenging. Speed regime required using some cheats and techniques. The one that gave me the most speedup is the dirty trick how to quickly spin up an HTTP server, without fighting with Apache or nginx:

/tmp $ cat "<h1>Hello!</h1>" > index.html
/tmp $ sudo python -m SimpleHTTPServer 80

Just remember to not kill the SSH connection there. And take a trusted mouse with you, because there is no time for scripts, automation, and programmatic access - you need to be a fast clicker!

You may ask how it went for me? It turned out that I almost went to the finals - I ended at the third place in the qualification round. Bummer!

Final results and my diploma

Unfortunately, I was slower during the last assignment. Even that the grades were not announced publicly, I felt that I have missed the 2nd place by one position. But I am not sad! I had the ton of fun, and I will definitely watch the live feeds from other qualification rounds, and of course the finals that will take place in autumn.

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