Challenge: Green software challenge

Write a software application or improve an existing one in the most energy-efficient way.

The energy consumption of ICT is growing beyond control, and its environmental impact now surpasses that of civil aviation. We need to address the challenge of making ICT more energy-efficient, both in hardware and in software. Software developers have little knowledge about the impact of software over energy consumption. However, this can be extremely relevant, both on mobile devices and in datacenters. This hackathon is intended for developers that are also sustainability geeks. They will be challenged to improve the energy efficiency of an application, to be remotely deployed on the Green Lab at the VU.

Evaluation Criteria
In every moment during the hackathon, participants will be able to upload their applications to the Green Lab of the VU, to see real-time data visualizations of the energy consumption of their applications, using the power meters in our Lab. The applications will be tested using a specific benchmark. At the end, the application consuming less energy will be selected as a winner. In case of similar energy consumption, performance will be evaluated.

Technical information​
Participants will be given a Virtual Machine containing a fully functional website based on Wordpress. Every participant will have to improve the energy efficiency of the website, while keeping the content and functionality. Thanks to Amazon Web Services, Participants will be provided with a 50 $ AWS Credit Code for the duration of the Hackathon. This credits can be used to set up AWS EC2 instances for experimentation purposes. A brief tutorial on possible optimizations and instructions on how to claim the AWS credits will be given at the beginning of the challenge. Participants are expected to bring their laptops. Required skills are front-end web development and basic concepts of software engineering, software architecture, virtualization. For technical reasons, the maximum number of participants for this challenge is 100. They will be organized in teams of four persons each (hence 25 teams maximum). Please register yourself here:

Expected result​
Participants will be asked to deliver a VM containing the optimized website, plus a report on the performed optimizations and a rationale.

The winning team will receive a coupon of 100€. The prizes for the Green Software Challenges are sponsored by SURFsara, a subsidiary of SURF, the collaborative ICT organisation for Dutch education and research. They offer students, lecturers and scientists in the Netherlands access to the best possible internet and ICT facilities. Sustainable ICT is one of their priority areas. In addition to greater energy efficiency and the reduction of ICT-based CO2 emissions, the objective is to use ICT to reduce CO2 emissions from education and research activities and general operations. Green(er) software is one of the important areas for reaching these goals.

Dr. Giuseppe Procaccianti, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Prof. Patricia Lago, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
(More members to be announced)

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