a blog by engineers, for engineers
Intern HackFest 2014
September 8, 2014
Ten teams of two to four Cerner interns competed in a week-long HackFest this summer, working to solve any problem they put their minds to. This competition cumulated in a presentation and judging of projects, with prizes of Raspberry Pi Kits for each member of the second place team and Leap Motions for each member of the winning team. From mobile apps, to machine learning algorithms, to drones…this year’s Summer Intern HackFest has been one for the books.
The Plain Text is a Lie
August 2, 2014
There is no such thing as plain text “But I see .txt files all the time” you say. “My source code is plain text” you claim. “What about web pages?!” you frantically ask. True, each of those things is comprised of text. The plain part is the problem. Plain denotes default or normal. There is no such thing. Computers store and transmit data in a number of methods; each are anything but plain.
ShipIt - 24-hour hackathon for Millennium+ Platform Dev
July 1, 2014
At the end of March, some of our teams held their first 24-hour hackathon, titled ShipIt: Millennium+ Services FedEx Day. We had 41 participants, in 15 teams working on 15 unique projects. The idea was inspired by several teams spending a few hours every so often to work on different projects. After reading about Atlassian’s hack days, we decided to hold one. The event was initially announced early in February, to give teams time to work this into their project plans.
Scaling People with Apache Crunch
May 9, 2014
Starting the Big Data Journey When a company first starts to play with Big Data it typically involves a small team of engineers trying to solve a specific problem. The team decides to experiment with scalable technologies either due to outside guidance or research which makes it applicable to their problem. The team begins with the basics of Big Data spending time learning and prototyping. They learn about HDFS, flirt with HBase or other NoSQL, write the required WordCount example, and start to figure out how the technologies can fit their needs.
Migrating from Eclipse 3.X to Eclipse 4.X - The iAware Story
March 18, 2014
This is the blog form of the talk Migrating from Eclipse 3.X to Eclipse 4.X - The iAware Story at EclipseCon 2014. The iAware development team was formed in late 2007 and in a little under six months we developed our first solution, CareAware CriticalCare, a dashboard application written using the Eclipse RCP targeted for use in ICU settings. The goal of this application was to provide clinicians with a complete picture of the patient’s status and to do it in a manner that was contextually relevant; meaning that related information was presented together.
Sponsoring the Apache Software Foundation
January 28, 2014
Open source plays an integral role within engineering at Cerner. In addition to using open source software throughout our architecture, we recently released a few projects back to the community via our Github organization. Today, we’re happy to announce that Cerner is now a sponsor of the non-profit Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The ASF is home to several projects that are essential components in many of our systems. We’ve blogged previously about several of these projects: Hadoop, HBase, Crunch, Maven, and Storm.
The Raft Protocol: A Better Paxos?
January 24, 2014
Among the many compelling talks that attendees come to expect every year at the Strange Loop conference was a session given by Ben Johnson that provided an overview of a new distributed consensus protocol originating from research at Stanford University, named Raft. What is distributed consensus? Distributed consensus can be described as the act of reaching agreement among a collection of machines cooperating to solve a problem. With the rise of open source distributed computing and storage platforms, consensus algorithms have become essential tools for replication, and thus, serve to enhance resiliency by eliminating single points of failure.
Cerner and Open Source
January 16, 2014
(This post was written by Nathan Beyer, Bryan Baugher and Jacob Williams.) The use of open source software has become nearly ubiquitous in contemporary software development and it is no different for us, here at Cerner. We have been using open source software, directly and indirectly, for decades. Over the past decade, we’ve grown in maturity both in our use of open source software as well as our participation in open source communities.
Cerner Tech Talks
November 12, 2013
We are always looking for ways to share knowledge and learn new things within engineering at Cerner. Whether that be through meetups, lunch & learns, conferences, or DevCon, we have a variety of outlets available to us. Today, we’re announcing a new program we recently launched: Cerner Tech Talks. Cerner Tech Talks brings in great speakers for talks that would be of interest to engineers at Cerner. These talks will be held periodically and will vary widely in their content.