On March 16, the 18 graduates from Le Wagon Montréal’s Batch #125 presented the products they built during the last 10 days of the program. Five applications were pitched with enthusiasm.
It was a time of excitement and celebration for all the students as well as for the hundred or so people who attended the event.
Two Weeks to Build an MVP
Some context is important for those who have not gone through our programand who are not programmers. Ten days to build an app is not very long and is a real challenge. Even more so considering that nine weeks earlier, most of the students did not know how to code.
Everyday is so much rewarding, you learn something new and you practice immediately, being helped by amazing teachers but also by the other students. You work hard, but you enjoy every moment of it !Coding can get really addictive, and the way it’s done at Le Wagon has a lot to do with it !— Thibaud, Le Wagon Montréal alumni
The final two weeks of the bootcamp are dedicated to developing projects in teams. The projects are built “from scratch”, and the work includes pitching the idea, programming the app, prototyping it and then, the icing on the cake: presenting the app during DemoDay.
In only 2 weeks, we built a functional web-app that I can use as the first major piece of my portfolio, but more importantly, I now have a clear vision of the process and challenges associated with building a web product.— Damien, Le Wagon Montréal alumni
The Five Products Presented
Five applications were presented on DemoDay:
1- Project Grace. Helping Helpers
Target: Large charitable foundations
Solution: A website enabling foundations to easily manage & track their projects and streamline interactions with their NGOs.
2- Tennis Mate. Find your next hitting partner
Target: Amateur tennis players
Solution: An app that matches you with compatible hitting partners based on your skill level, availability, and location.
3- Characterize. Build your backstory
Target: New or returning Dungeons & Dragon players
Solution: A website that offers a randomized set of backstory elements to stimulate the user’s creativity
4- Winelife. Your personal wine advisor
Target: Wine lovers who don’t know a lot about wine
Solution: An application through which the user can select certain criteria such as taste and budget, and the app suggests wines that are available at the closest liquor store.
5- Gamiflex. The best tool to find your next game.
Target: Experienced video gamers
Solution: A webapp that provides a video game suggestion for the user, based on their given preferences and situation.
And Then What? The 10 Best Tips from Developers
We had the honour of welcoming LP Maurice, the CEO and Co-Founder of Busbud, who ended the evening with an inspirational speech.
He asked his team members what were their greatest lessons learned and advice for new developers joining the ecosystem. Here is an extract of what they said:
- Failure is your friend. You learn from it and grow. If you are not failing, you are not pushing beyond your capabilities of today and becoming better tomorrow.
- Stay curious. Ask “why?” or “why not?” whenever you can and then get the answer. Read voraciously, but keep in mind you “learn by doing”.
- Imposter syndrome is real, everyone feels it, you’re not alone. Opening up and sharing your thoughts with others when you feel it helps you get through it and can help others that are feeling it as well.
- You are in the best business at the best possible time in the history of the world.
- Degrees don’t matter as much, you’ll get hired if you have experiencebuilding great things.
- You’ll have the time of your life.
- Dogfood your product or service. Talk to the users of your product and empathize with them. Don’t try to guess what they think.
- Pay it forward. Helps others as you have been helped to get where you are.
- Technology is a vast landscape, choose a problem that you are passionateabout and change the world.
- Beware of “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO). Just pick a tool/framework/language that you like, go build something and get better.
- Side projects are great for exploring and showcasing your skills. Real life hobbies (sports, music, etc) are important too!
- Follow a career path that you want to have, don’t let someone tell you what you are “supposed” to do next. It’s hard to fabricate passion and it’s your secret ingredient. If you are passionate you will succeed.
- Keep on going and enjoy the journey!