On Monday, November 3rd, a line formed outside Lighthouse Labs and snaked all the way back into the Launch Academy office. We were ready to celebrate our latest web development cohort, and the crowd of over 150 was as eager to start as our grads. At 6:00pm, our doors opened and the crowd was greeted with free beers, Vietnamese subs from Foodee, and ample networking opportunities. After settling in, what followed was some of the most compelling projects we've seen yet at Lighthouse Labs. The crowd was wowed by our grads' technical prowess. To fully encapsulate the night, I'll go over each project one-by-one:
First up, we had a four-person group composed of Andrew Wheeler, Eric Leong, Mike Kakebeeke, Brendan Deere. This dashing team introduced the audience to a web app that is essentially Instagram on steroids: QR8R. Built using Rails, QR8R allows you to create image galleries that can be populated by specifying tags. You can monitor your competition, keep track of your event hashtags, and automatically curate galleries based on tagged projects. It's the ultimate tool for marketing on Instagram (other than maybe Lighthouse Labs TA Ian MacKinnon's Latergram). The group set up a #DemoDay hashtag and guests saw their selfies pop up throughout the night through the monitor at their designated booth.
Group two added an unprecedented twist – cryptocurrency. LOLbet allows users to bet with Bitcoin on the outcome of League Of Legends matches. Made by Marlon Kenny, Kinnan Kwok, Derek Hendricks and Tom McGuirk, the four created their real time web app using MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node, and impressed the crowd with the elaborate sounds and effects. We watched live as they placed a bet on a real game!
The next group had a vision of social innovation in the K-12 education sector. SchoolBox helps facilitate direct communication between teachers and students, with an emphasis on special needs students. The creators Shannon McDonald, Daniel Harris, Kieran Cormack and Thiago Noguerra built it using Rails, WebSockets and Angular. Their front-end work was crisp and eye-catching, and their feature set was robust; it included event scheduling, live chat, and more. It was easy to see how the software could apply to various other verticals, too!
The next app was built by some of the cohort's biggest personalities: Chris Chan, Zach Hill, Eric Yee and Melody Ma (who has also blogged for us). Staticity allows for data-based city comparison, using APIs to fuel quality of life comparisons for cities all over the world! The group showcased some incredibly clean UI, and as one audience member put it, “they sure know how to pick out a magnificent shade of purple”. This is a crucial skill as a developer! They took the opportunity to showcase how they'd built the app out for mobile as well. Built with Ruby on Rails, the group truly showed their expertise in the course language.
RTOS (Real Time Operating System)
The last group left the crowd speechless. Made by Chris Reid, Ben Visser and Marly Guha, they created a WebRTC-powered de-centralized interaction platform with an emphasis on file sharing. So, what exactly does that mean? It means they can process live file sharing of an incredible size without any server of their own. In their five-minute presentation, they downloaded a massive movie file, created and played a music playlist, opened a live chat window, and streamed a manipulatable live webcam stream. The group fine-tuned this remarkable invention using Node, Ember, and Node-webkit. Head Instructor Don Burks postulated that if they could tackle the issue of scalability, they could have a technology that a company may be interested in acquiring for a large sum!
As the presentations wrapped up, attendees were encouraged to vote for their People's Choice award winner. In the end, RTOS took it home, earning themselves 3 months of Launch Academy office space, mentorship, and our glorious new Lighthouse trophy! It was an amazing night for all involved, and we wish the grads the best of luck as they embark upon their careers as developers!
Want to see more Demo Day action? Head over to our Facebook page for the full album, or get blog-exclusive early registration for the next one on November 28th!