My first CodePath demo day

On Tuesday, July 13, CodePath held its quarterly demo day at Lyft headquarters.  I went to support some friends and found an amazing event backed by Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz among others with cash prizes worth $15,000. The quality of the apps was awesome and I thought I’d share my experience with everyone.

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The Participants

The presenters were the top teams from CodePath’s last iOS and Android bootcamps. They were sifted from a batch of 100 full-stack engineers from companies like Facebook, DropBox, and Box and the best final projects were selected for the demo day and also got a chance to meet with a YC partner.  The apps were developed over the course of 4 weeks by engineers who did not know iOS or Android before. Many of the designers did not know what a variable was before the course. We were all pretty impressed by their accomplishments in 28 short days.

Demo day collage

There were three bootcamp cohorts this quarter – Android, iOS, and iOS for designers. The judges chose a winner and an honorable mention from each of the three categories.

Vicky Gkiza of Skype, one of the judges
Vicky Gkiza of Skype, one of the judges

Cohort 1 – Android

Honorable Mention

StrengthCoach – a very well designed app for peer-to-peer fitness training.  I wanted it enough that I thought about switching to Android :-)

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The Winner

SwagSwap – a mobile app to buy and sell used kids’ stuff.  The judges found it a compelling use of mobile’s many benefits – the ability to take pictures of the merchandize in app, utilizing social networks to sell using OAuth.

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Cohort 2 – iOS

Honorable Mention

WalkingBuddy – An iOS and Apple Watch app that informs friends if I made it home safe when walking alone.  As a female braving the wild west, an app like this is a godsend.

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The Winner

Pretto – makes it possible to share and add to pictures of events you attend without having to know all the people there – think weddings, conferences. As the judges said, there have been no compelling products in the space yet.

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Cohort 3 – iOS for designers

Honorable Mention

Climbs – a bouldering enthusiasts’ dream app.  Think of it like the Triposo for outdoor climbing.  Very neat offline features for the times when you are actually on those mountains, climbing.

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The Winner

Talka was so bomb, it had the audience dancing.  It turns Siri into a singer, meshing words in any language with vocal manipulations such as speed, pitch, etc. Amazingly, it’s built by a single person team!  :-)

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The demo day was creatively charged and I found myself thinking of all the awesome things I could built after a CodePath bootcamp. Then reality hit – I must get to full-stack status first :-)

I should mention – along with providing free mobile training to experienced devs and designers (which you can apply for here), CodePath also welcomes mobile experts to mentor and teach with them. If you are interested, go here. But a word of caution from an alum to prospective students and teachers alike – “Sleep while you can. You don’t get much during CodePath!”

Priyanka Sharma runs WakaTime, a FitBit for programmers to measure their coding productivity.