The third annual ZenPack Challenge is well underway, and we have some fantastic entries from professional software developers around the world. But did you know that the ZenPack Challenge is open to university students as well? Now you do!
The ZenPack Challenge is a great opportunity for university students to showcase their creativity and development skills by creating a ZenPack to monitor pretty much anything they choose to hook into.
“Sounds great, but what is the ZenPack Challenge?”
Solid question! The ZenPack Challenge is an annual contest that provides an opportunity for developers from around the world to showcase their skills by creating a unique ZenPack for the Zenoss hybrid IT monitoring platform. The challenge is sponsored by SOPRIS Technologies, a provider of end-to-end software and hardware solutions.
Two finalists in each category, professional and university, will receive scholarships to attend the Zenoss GalaxZ18 user conference in Austin, Texas, this June. At the conference, the finalists will showcase their ZenPacks on the Partner Showcase floor in front of all conference attendees.
The winner in each category will be awarded the 2018 Zenoss ZenPack of the Year award. All finalists will be highlighted in the Zenoss ZenPack Catalog and the Zenoss blog and will receive a unique badge on the Zenoss TechZen User Community that is yours to share on your site and social media.
“Cool, but what is a ZenPack?”
ZenPacks are open and customizable plug-ins that extend the Zenoss platform using standard APIs and protocols, including SNMP, WMI, SSH and many more, to collect real-time health and performance data from any type of system or application. The flexible, highly extensible ZenPack model allows users to quickly expand the discovery, performance and availability monitoring capabilities of the Zenoss platform to new technologies in their IT environments. ZenPacks make it easy for you to unify, enhance and extend your monitoring without the need to replace any existing tools.
One question that comes up quite often is how you write a ZenPack. Easy answer! ZenPacks are written in Python. Writing a ZenPack using our SDK, ZenPacklib, is very simple as you use a Yaml file to define all the bits your ZenPack provides. ZenPacklib will then create those bits for you. There are many resources to help you get started. Our TechZen user community has a specific forum for ZenPacks where you can seek guidance from industry professionals, including the Zenoss team and our ZenMasters.
“I’m up for it! How do I get started?”
Easy! Go to the 2018 ZenPack Challenge information page to request your developer kit. You can enter solo or as a team with friends at your university. All of these requests come directly to me here at Zenoss, and I will help get you started with more information about the ZenPack SDK and where to submit your ZenPack. And of course, my team and I are available to answer your questions.
“So, two finalists get to go to Austin, which I heard is awesome, but what is GalaxZ?
You are correct about Austin — fabulous city, great people and a thriving tech community. GalaxZ is the annual Zenoss user conference held downtown, where you will interact with the entire Zenoss team, our partners and customers as well as fantastic thought leaders from the industry. We offer training days as well as two full days of interactive demonstration and expert sessions from some of the best cloud and infrastructure leaders, practitioners and industry experts. And you will get to show off your ZenPack for all of us!
Leave a comment or question below. I am happy to help you get started and hope to see you in Austin, TX this June!