48 hours at the GE Minds + Machines 2016 Hackathon

It’s amazing what sometimes fits into 48 hours. In a blog post about how to become a distinguished technologist, I recommended the following as a general, long-term heuristic for building a distinguished career:

  1. Learn a lot about things that matter
  2. Work on genuinely useful projects…
  3. with people you like and respect

I watched that wisdom play out in the intense 2-day GE Minds + Machines Hackathon. The hackathon started when I met up with the team– whom I most certainly like and respect (career heuristic #3). If we were the Avengers, the identities of might go something like this:

We had 48 hours to build a genuinely useful application (career heuristic #2), deploy it, and present it to the judges. We chose to use GE’s Industrial Internet Platform, called Predix, to build an IoT application that monitors and guarantees chain of custody for physical assets. Imagine critical infrastructure like the electrical grid or water treatment plants. Our application monitors those assets, automatically alerts technicians of possible problems, and can prove that a problem was detected, serviced, and fixed.

The hackathon was a crash course in real-world Internet of Things (career heuristic #1). It was a practical experience that forced me to move past hype and into how this stuff actually works. The analytics and insight generation, for example, gets a lot attention when talking about the Industrial Internet. But, in practice, I found that properly configuring security and getting all the components to talk to each other to be the biggest challenge.

We didn’t win the hackathon challenge.  But I have no doubt that what we did will have a positive impact in the company. I’ll leave you with a video of JP walking through the final application. Team DXC would love to get your feedback. If you have a related experience to share or questions about the technology, leave comments and let us know what you think.


Jerry Overton is a data scientist and Distinguished Technologist in DXC’s Analytics group. He leads the strategy and development for DXCs advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things offerings.



  1. Dream Team and great work done! Thanks Jerry for sharing this.


  2. Excellent page, video thanks for sharing



  1. […] other news, #TeamCSC had a crash course in blockchain tech during our recent adventure  at the GE Minds + Machines Hackathon. Despite all the activity and buzz, it’s still quite new […]


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