I remember coming to the end of my first week at Makers Academy and thinking that I still had such a long way to go. Since then, each week has passed by more quickly than the previous one, as I’ve learnt more and more, and now here I am, on the other side, where day 60 has come and gone.
During the last week, there was an excitement mixed with anxiety in the air as we approached our graduation day. Everyone wanted to have a decent working version completed for the presentations. My team stopped adding features to our app from the Tuesday, and spent the final two days fixing tests, bugs, and making it look pretty. Turns out Hemang has been messing around with HTML and CSS since he was thirteen, so the fact that our site looks awesome is one-hundred per-cent down to him. It was a great moment when Rob asked us whether we had employed the talents of a professional designer.
Graduation day soon arrived and in the afternoon we were joined by a mix of family, friends, prospective students, and hiring partners. It was a very good turnout considering it was the last Friday of work before the Christmas holidays. One of the problems with graduations in the past was that the presentations had gone on for too long, or there had been technical issues with the live demonstrations. In order to combat this and do something a bit different, my team made a short silent film to introduce ourselves and how we came up with the idea. Then we recorded a screencast of the app, set to music, and each team member gave some brief live commentary about what the audience was seeing. A lot of other teams had similar ideas which meant that all presentations were done in under half an hour, leaving plenty of time for celebrating.
Like the August cohort who had gone before us, there were also a range of projects in our group. My group developed a ‘Snapchat meets Groupon’ app called Pinch, where businesses post time sensitive deals to their followers. Another group developed ‘Ping Pong Pros‘, bringing tech to the world of table tennis. There was ‘Picture This‘, similar to Instagram, but the focus was on having private photo streams between friends and family. One of the most exciting projects was ‘Launchsh.it‘, where you create a fireworks show, time it to music, and launch the fireworks, all from the comfort of your computer. We were lucky enough to be treated to a live fireworks demonstration during their presentation, which certainly increased the already-high energy levels!
At one point in the evening, the Makers team gathered the September cohort into the boardroom to say their goodbyes. This was a very bittersweet moment. The team, with motivating speeches and anecdotes, congratulated us on making it to the end and stressed what a strong position we were in now as we embark on careers in tech. However, it was sad to be saying goodbye to the wonderful people who’ve made our experience so special. I think we all took comfort in the fact that the doors to Makers Academy will always be open to us, and we can go back for advice, or just a chat, whenever we want to.
I’m tempted to say that I have completed my Makers Academy journey, but that is far from the case. Makers Academy have given me the foundations to go off and become a great developer, but now there is lots to do on my part if I’m to reach those levels.
Thank you, Makers Academy. It has been awesome.