Internet usage pioneers, and OpenStand Affirming Partner, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) recently held their sixth hackathon event. This event, through running open source code, was able to find and highlight missing or unclear areas of standards, subsequently improving the standards.

According to the IETF event recap, this Hackathon drew approximately 120 participants on site, plus more than 20 remotely. Work covered a broad range of IETF topics with valuable and inspiring results. The Hackathon had two primary goals:

  1. Advance the pace and relevance of IETF work
  2. Attract young people and developers to the IETF

One of the ways the Hackathon increases the pace and relevance of IETF work is via running code. Implementing evolving standards and producing running code validates the standards and highlights things that may be missing, wrong, or ambiguous in draft versions of these standards. Better still, if the code is open source, viewing and sharing the source code aids in understanding of a standard, makes it easier to use, and promotes its adoption. Open source projects that featured prominently this Hackathon included OpenDaylight, ONOS, VPP, Joy, and many others. For a list and brief description of the Hackathon projects, see the wiki.

These Hackathons work well and are a consistent draw in part because they are not designed for a single developer to “win.” The spirit is collaborative and success is measured in how they can improve the Internet as a whole. Free participation and bragging rights over prize money mean genuine and honest friendly competition.

The OpenStand Principles work towards transparency, openness, cooperation and voluntary adoption within the working Internet. These are qualities that align with the open source community. That’s why events such as these continue to demonstrate how open source code can be used to aid in the understanding, utilization and improvement of internet standards in an open way.

These types of events exemplify the collaborative spirit at the heart of the mission of the IETF. They have a goal to make the Internet work better by producing high quality, relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet. For more information on winners or how to participate in the next Hackathon, read IETF’s recap here.

These are also the types of events supports of Open Standards should participate in, if able. By collaborating, the internet will only continue to grow and become a better tool for all. Join us in working to make the web a better place; become an OpenStand advocate! Go here to Display a site badge on your website.