Electrical Engineering, Hungary, India, Powertrain, Shannon, Software, Technology

The inaugural Jaguar Land Rover GDD Hackathon

True to its name, it was indeed a global event with teams joining across all the GDD hubs in Gaydon, Manchester, Portland, Shannon, Hungary and India. The first stage of the competition kicked off with sourcing problem statements from all Jaguar Land Rover colleagues in May, and finally six problem statements were announced in June across the three domains – Electrical engineering, Power Electronics and Mechatronics.

Putting ourselves forward for the challenge

My teammates, Abhijith N Balan and Ronit Hire Jaisingh, and I are Software Engineers at Jaguar Land Rover India. We heard about the hackathon through word of mouth and decided to register for it. It would be our first hackathon since graduating from college two years ago and we were excited to get this chance to showcase our skills. With about a week to go for the registration deadline, we started having meetings to go through each problem statement in detail and choose the one that aligns with our vision the most. We found the HMI Navigation Testing problem statement intriguing and implementable in the near future in our cars. This was ideal since our prime goal was to help improve the customer experience we offer by solving real world technical problems. We also reckoned that it might have the most teams competing (which turned out to be correct), which was perfect since we were up for a challenge.

One of our last meetings leading up to the hackathon was to decide our team’s name for registration, which ran for over an hour (not our proudest moment) before we ended up finalizing “Chaotic Coyotes” (combined with our GitLab GraphRunner, a nod to the beloved childhood cartoon, the Road Runner). At the end of the meeting, we joked that this might be the longest meeting we have for the entire duration of the hackathon. If only we knew how wrong we were going to be!

The hackathon kicked off on 1st July at 12 noon BST

We realized that the deadline for the competition was the next day midnight for the UK, which was 4:30 am on a Saturday for us, far from ideal. At the start we felt our chances to complete in time looked bleak due to this fact. Nevertheless, we decided upon one thing – whenever one of us is working, he will join the teams meeting so that the others know about it. This probably turned out to be a game changer for us as over the next 36 hours we ended up with more than 25 hours of meetings! For our problem statement, we had to develop an algorithm that was capable of automating the HMI Validation of the car infotainment screen.

Given the home screen our algorithm had to ensure that we clicked on all buttons and visited all the available screens so that they can be tested, with two key factors deciding the quality of the solution – the efficiency and randomness. The algorithm needed to be efficient enough to not keep on repeatedly testing the same screens or buttons, and yet random enough to mimic the typical user’s behaviour where they might choose to visit certain screens more often than others. Balancing this trade-off would be crucial to developing an acceptable solution. I have my teammates to thank for coming up with ingenious approaches and a few clever workarounds which we stitched together and incorporated into one satisfactory solution.

The 36 hours of the hackathon for us were replete with all the clichés of a typical coding hackathon during our college days – sacrificing all sleep, forgetting meals sometimes, discovering a blunder less than an hour from the deadline and scrambling to correct it! Finally, at exactly 4:30 am on Saturday we submitted our solution and heaved a sigh of relief.

The presentation

After catching up on all the lost sleep over the weekend, we prepared for the next stage of the competition – the presentation. The judges had a lot of questions for us which we answered confidently and a few valuable inputs too which could add to our algorithm. We felt good about our chances after the presentation, but were mindful of the other teams too who undoubtedly would have brilliant solutions of their own. Before the results were declared we even got the chance to view the work done by all the other teams, and we found some strong contenders among those with quite efficient approaches.

Winning!

We were delighted to learn that our team was announced the winner, and excited when we were told about what lied ahead. Our implementation had impressed the judges and post the hackathon we have been working on bettering it and pitching to the senior management. We received quite positive feedback for our solution from the Chief Engineer (Software Validation & Integration) at Jaguar Land Rover and his team.

Recently, we also pitched our solution to the Elec & Systems Engineering Director who reviewed all the winning entries from the hackathon. In the next few weeks, we will be working on integrating our algorithm with the current testing strategy by the validation team for a PoC. All in all, it was an exhilarating experience for us. It was a commendable effort by the organizing committee to set this up from scratch and we hope to see our project come to fruition in our cars soon!

Siddharth Brahmbhatt, Software Engineer – ADAS

Home Page, People, Shannon, Software, Technology

The journey we are on is evolving and engineers will constantly learn with us.

‘As we strive to be the Software Centre of Excellence this is a really exciting time to join us. Working in exciting areas such as Embedded Software, Data Science, AI, Machine Learning, Cyber-Security, Dev Ops, Validation, etc. developing through an Agile operating model – it really is all about Software in Shannon. We are constantly developing key products evolving the architecture of our vehicles and maximising the use of data – by adding new features and customer experiences. ADAS is another huge area of focus for us – and the software we develop together with our partners, binds together everything we are creating.

Our R & D workshop is where the exciting vehicle integration happens. We develop software that we embed into our vehicles and test – it’s such a strong proposition for our engineers to be able to experience this. Our leading-edge technology is fundamentally changing the industry in the coolest way and being able to work on our latest vehicles is vitally important us– everyone here feels a sense of ownership and are aware of where we are taking our brand.

The journey we are on is changing and evolving and engineers will constantly learn with us. Our focus is on technology and being a premium brand. A complete revolution of the industry is happening – and using the latest and greatest tech we are challenging our teams to create new features, do something different and innovate.’

This is your opportunity to play your part and #ReimagineYourFuture. To find out more visit ‘Find a job’ on our careersite.

Engineering, Home Page, People, Software, Technology

Working here gives everyone the chance to learn differently and develop a variety of tech skills.

‘Having now been with the company for over 2 ½ years – I’ve worked on infotainment, Software Over The Air, Vehicle Data Platform and many other different projects. My role is to help our software teams to push the technical direction for the solutions of some of our projects – so I take on the meetings involved in these projects and help mentor and advise our developers so that they can spend their time doing what they do best.

I started here as a Software Engineer and, at the time, didn’t envisage the role I am in now – but as the Manchester Hub grows, possibilities and roles emerge – so this has been a fantastic opportunity for me.

I have a real interest in cars and it’s a really rewarding feeling knowing that what we produce is being seen across the country and the world. There’s an immense pride in seeing something you’ve worked on physically being used by our customers.

I’ve found a real flexibility in the culture here. We have the freedom to move across programmes and projects. Working here gives everyone the chance to learn differently and develop a variety of tech skills. I know that I won’t be working on one project constantly and we get the chance to switch technologies and discover the next/new tech.

Although we are working from home a lot now – we get together as teams regularly. It’s those impromptu chats in the office that can sometimes be invaluable on a project.

My advice to someone looking to work here. Be open to learning new stuff, have the drive to learn and don’t be afraid of taking your skills to the next level. Your input can be invaluable in moving both our products and your career forward.’

There are some amazing opportunities to join us. Search ‘Find a Job’ on our careersite to find out more.

Home Page, People, Software

As a Software Engineer, I find I’m interacting with tech in a totally different way to any other role I’ve had.

‘Day to day I’m involved in all areas of software delivery but mainly test and quality assurance. What’s different here is that we are not just building websites – as you would in many tech environments. We are creating applications running on our vehicles.

At the moment I’m working on the infotainment system – which brings with it a lot of challenges around automated testing and continuous deployment.

We’re very focused on quality,  striving for the best, so automated testing is a vital component before any software is distributed. The platforms and systems we work on are constantly moving forward. Personally, I’m passionate about delivering a high-quality product that will meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.

I’ve worked here for 2 ½ years now as part of a Software team. We work across 2 to 3 products at a time – using different technology. Although we’ve all successfully worked from home over the last year, we now try to meet in the office at least once a week.

Being part of such a supportive and talented team, everyone really appreciates and cares about the products we are working on. As a Software Engineer, I find I’m testing and interacting with tech in a totally different way to any other role I’ve had – which, for me, is both exciting and challenging’.

There are some amazing opportunities to join us. Search ‘Find a Job’ on our careersite to find out more.

Analytics, Graduate, Home Page, People, Software

Jaguar Land Rover has already had a major impact on my career.

‘The idea that we are surrounded by large amounts of data that can be used to improve our decision making process in all business domains was very exciting- so I decided to pursue a career in Analytics.

Learning about Jaguar Land Rover’s Analytics team I was certain that this would be a place where I could learn from excellent individuals, get training and exposure to exciting projects.

When starting the graduate scheme, the initial training introduced me to the basics of data engineering, data science and data visualisation. Going into the first project I was able to put my learnings into practice: building data pipelines, creating visualisations, and presenting to senior stakeholders.

During my time at Jaguar Land Rover I have also been given the opportunity to support the initial start-up stages of the Data Office, creating content and resources for the enterprise roll out of Tableau. Being involved in such an impactful initiative at the early stages, has been a valuable experience. I am now starting my second rotation within the team, diving into the Data Engineering world.

In Jaguar Land Rover I feel that I am able to contribute and given the opportunity to express and implement my ideas, while learning from an awesome team!’

Explore www.jaguarlandrovercareers.com to find out more about the opportunities available to join our InDigital team.