IMG_20161023_120440 Diversity Hackathon team I mentored
The 2-person team I mentored at the Austin Diversity Hackathon in October of 2016, organized by Women Who Code Austin.
The person on the left (names withheld for their privacy) was the product owner / idea person, which is to say she provided the idea for the web app we built. The person on the right was our one and only developer. As it turned out, my mentoring consisted mostly by trimming down the product owner's ideas for the product into something that could be implemented in 1.5 days by one junior web developer. It meant sifting through a group of loose, somewhat disjointed ideas that she had to figure out what was (a) the most important to her, and (b) technically feasible to implement. Those two constraints are often mutually-contradictory.
So it was less technical mentorship and more like technically informed product management -- different than what I do at work, but also somewhat similar, because developers do influence product manager's decisions with their feasibility analysis.
In this case, the web app was a collection of virtual "cards" with exercises to help young children calm down. The product owner is an educator, and this is something she saw a need for. The cards had to present animations of exercises easily understandable to young children: breathing (e.g. balloon breath) or visualisation (e.g. imagining yourself as a tree). So I spent part of the time scouring the net for animations of inflating and deflating balloons. Well, as a developer you don't get to do that every day.
You can see one of the screens from the app on the laptop in the picture.
October 2016 at Capital Factory, Austin, Texas.