Wanderlust Wendy

Le Wagon Week 8 & 9: Final Sprint

Demo Day @ 3pm

We are 4 hours away from final demo day. Phew! My team pushed our final sets of Mini-Program codes to WeChat last night at midnight for approval, and have rehearsed our pitch a dozen times over the last two days. Final version approved this morning, and we are ready to go.These last two weeks were the culmination of all the pain that we’ve endured. In just 10 days, my team mocked up the design of our app, Jobify, where you can take a quiz to find jobs that fit you. We built the entire program from scratch. There were many late nights, lots of junk food, and nightmares about console.log undefined.

As was with our practice run, my team worked flawlessly together. We each tapped into our strengths, picked up the necessary pieces, and got it done. I’ve worked many 12+ hour days in my life, but never have felt this good, especially without pay. If anything, I’m paying good money to endure this. There is some sort of bizarre joy that comes from working hard on something you enjoy. Le Wagon Shanghai 2018

Despite my team’s great rapport, the project was not built without frustration. Since WeChat Mini-program is hot in China, we are building one to learn the skills. The caveat, as there always is one in China, is the program must be registered by a Chinese citizen. No one on our team has a Chinese ID, so our team lead leveraged his colleague to register, but first submission was denied. We then leveraged his company’s business license, coupled with some VERY artful business writing to get the second submission approved.

Lesson learned: if you are building a WeChat Mini-program as your final project in Le Wagon China – start the registration process the day that your idea has been voted. It’s painful, and not everyone has the connection and access to Chinese business license for registration. Trying to figure this out during the last week is unnecessarily stressful.

Demo Day @ 6pm

Our team practiced the pitch again for the Nth time. We’ve lost count. We had spent hours polishing the script, cutting it down to the very essence of the story. Now, with just one hour to go, we practice until it’s muscle memory. We tested the live version of our app on the projector. All is ready. Yet, I am still nervous that something will inevitably go wrong come show time.

Demo Day @ 7:45pm

Finally, it’s show time. While my team is presenting up front, I am at the back navigating the program. Landing page is showing while Rose gives the intro. I attempt to connect my phone to AirPlay, as I had done a dozen times prior during rehearsal. And then, just as predicted:

F@!% WHY IS AIRPLAY NOT SHOWING UP?! I entered severe panic mode. F$#%! We don’t have plan B to project the live app from my phone. I have 30 seconds until the intro ends and demo begins. Lesson learned: ALWAYS have a plan B.

With 15 seconds to spare, AirPlay shows up, and my phone was connected. My classmates standing by were relieved for me. Meanwhile, my heart was about to jump out of my chest. It all happened so quickly, and now I must make sure I run through the demo in perfect sync with our pitch. My fingers were shaking so visibly that someone standing behind me made a comment later. Luckily, no other technical difficulties ensued, and the demo completed without anyone noticing the rocky beginning.

Jobify WeChat Mini-program QR code!

Post Demo Day 

We revealed the public QR code for scan at the end of our demo, and I also shared photos around social media. I’ve been surprised by the positive responses. Acquaintances messaged me to ask whether they can post jobs and share the app, and an alum from Le Wagon had asked for our repository to study our design.

For a project that I treated more or less like an amateur school project, the positive reaction has been encouraging, and serve as a boost of confidence in our abilities as web developers. I’m so grateful to be a part of such a solid group. To have a live product for the audience to play was so rewarding. And with this rush of adrenaline, the 9-week roller coaster ride to become a web developer ends.

Yet, the journey never ends. Just as I ponder how I will relax, an alum from Le Wagon contacted me to work on a pro-bono project yesterday. The universe wants me to keep the momentum going, and I shall oblige.

Thank you for reading my Le Wagon series. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave me a comment. It’d be useful to pay it forward for the rest of the community!

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