ShipIt IX Day: Summer 2017

There is no better way to end summer than with ShipIt Day! We kicked off our ninth ShipIt Day on August 10th, with more than 75 Cerner associates signed up. Nineteen different teams worked for 24 hours straight to complete their projects. For those unfamiliar with the event, ShipIt Day is a 24 hour hackathon for internal associates to create something innovative, usable, and value-adding. This was the second ShipIt held at our new Innovations Campus. Associates love using our new campus for ShipIt because of the game rooms and collaboration spaces! One new addition to this quarter’s ShipIt Day was the scavenger hunt. Participants were given a list of crazy tasks to accomplish within the 24 hours. Some tasks included spoon feeding a fellow team member, completing the obstacle courses around the outdoor walking trail, and finding binary codes around campus and decoding them. Shoutout to the winners of the scavenger hunt: the Jumpy Woodchucks team!

Teams were given lots of snacks and drinks to keep them fueled for the next 24 hours.
Collaboration is key to a successful project.

For dinner, we brought in some of the biggest pizzas Kansas City has to offer from Pizza 51. By dinner time the participants were ready to chow down and give their brains a break. Dinner entertainment included School of Rock and Futurama.

Chaos ensued as everyone runs to grab some pizza!
School of Rock was played during dinner.

Associates stayed overnight and worked around the clock to ensure their projects would be complete by presentation time. However, sometimes you just need a nap.

Presentation day is always an exciting one. After 24 hours of hard work, the teams have 4 minutes to show off their product to their peers and a panel of rock-star judges. A special thank you to Brian Wallace, Amon Woolridge, and Greg Whitsitt for judging this round.

We always start presentation day off with bagels for breakfast from Panera. The Prize Table.

Team Bravo Avocado

ShipIt Day IX teams brought their A game. The projects get more intricate and more impressive each time around. ShipIt Day is a great way to show off the talent we have at Cerner. Team Bravo Avocado, made up of Thomas Clay, Jacob Zimmerman, Jan Monterrubio, Max Schroeder, and Elisha Boozer took first place! Judges were impressed by their live demo and humorous presentation style.

Our project was an enhancement for Millennium Java services that removes certain required pieces of server implementation by adding custom annotations. Consumers will no longer have the same restrictions from traditional service generation (i.e. defining a generation file, method naming), because the annotation processor will generate that for them. Also, the framework can bind the structured request/reply objects to an annotated object of their choice. These annotations remove lots of redundant code and gives consumers more time to focus on what matters.

Team Bravo Avocado with the Golden Keyboard.

Team E=MC Hammer

Second place went to team E=MC Hammer, made up of Kyle Lipke, Nimesh Subramanian, James Boyd, Mahesh Sampekatte, and Megan McConnell.

For ShipIt IX, our team E=MC Hammer built a tool that looks up and publishes Millennium OAuth keys. This tool was created to be an easy-to-use, easy-to-search, and updateable source of truth for all those that request and use Millennium OAuth keys. We set up an api that hosts only the data we wish to present, in a read-only “MAP” so users understand the structure of the data. We had a blast on the project and would recommend attending a ShipIt day yourself!

Judge Greg Whitsitt noted that their project was:

…applicable across teams, solves a problem many face. A great idea and great execution.

Team E=MC Hammer.

Team Jumpy Woodchucks

Team Jumpy Woodchucks, made up of Hans Perera, Nathaniel Owen, Ann Dickey, James Thomas, and Pramoth Murali took third place. Their project was Chamberlain:

Light notification system for all your notification needs that decorates your desk. This system currently supports alerts for Microsoft Outlook, Crucible, and Millennium domain health. Designed to be highly customizable and a project for teams to learn about electronics and use of Makerspace.

Judges commented that this project was what the heart of ShipIt Day is all about.

Team Jumpy Woodchucks.

People’s Choice Awards

We had a packed house for ShipIt Day presentations. Associates could watch live in the Assembly or catch it on the livestream website. One of the best parts of ShipIt Day is letting the audience join in on the fun and vote for their favorite team name, best presentation, and favorite project. Congratulations to the following teams…

  • Favorite Team Name: 🌝 – Venkatesh Sridharan, Ian Kottman, Anthony Ross, Karthik Nimmagadda, and Abhi Mahabalshetti
  • Favorite Project: Message Therapist – Siddhartha Dutta, Ashish Nair, Noah Benham, and James Lawson
  • Best Presentation: Bravo Avocado – Thomas Clay, Jacob Zimmerman, Jan Monterrubio, Max Schroeder, and Elisha Boozer
The Assembly during presentations.


Each ShipIt Day, we see a handful of ShipIt “veterans.” It is always interesting to hear our associates take on the 24 hour event. Ian Kottman, a software engineer on the Population Health Genomics team, has a lot to say about his experience participating in ShipIt Day.

I recently got to take part in one of my favorite events at Cerner: ShipIt Day. This was my fourth ShipIt and I was excited about the project my team had come up with. My team had named ourselves 🌝, which is one of the team member’s favorite emoji. We planned to add a UI to a tool we created last ShipIt to manage access to Cerner’s Makerspace. Our primary goal this time around was to have fun and win the coveted cheeseballs.

In the short 24 hours we had our team went through all of the stages of a typical software project: design, implementation, realization we overestimated, shedding unneeded features, and finally getting something working. Partway through the day we ran into issues getting Chrome to run in a Docker container and there was a brief incident involving internationalization breaking our error page, but after many whiteboard sessions and late night sodas we completed a working product. We even managed to have time for a few hours of sleep before the presentations. When it was all said and done we had accomplished our goal: we won cheeseballs for best team name! All in all, we had an excellent time collaborating and developing a tool that will be used for a long time to come. I’m already thinking about what to work on next ShipIt…

ShipIt continues to be a great way for associates to work on something they haven’t had a chance to work on, build relationships within different organizations, and most importantly, enjoy themselves. ShipIt Day IX was a great success. The projects were creative and have potential to be built upon and used in Cerner’s everyday work flow. We are already looking forward to our next ShipIt Day in December!

If you are interested in learning more about other ShipIt Days, see these earlier posts: