It’s been five weeks since my demo day at Bitmaker Labs. The next cohort is already over halfway completed their program, exactly where we were in the beginning of February – sorting out the details of a restaurant booking engine and making reservations over and over again our fictional Sushi Hut restaurant to test it out.
Since finishing I’ve attended Techraking Toronto – a two-day event put on by the Centre for Investigative Reporting and Google in an effort to advance digital and data-driven journalism. There were panel discussion on journalism, demonstrations of Google products that can be used in journalism, and finally, a design workshop on digital journalism products.
The ideas for the workshop ranged from “Tinder for newsroom pitches” to “Wikipedia change tracker.” My own idea was the request and analyze the TTC downtime data to see if there were any patterns on when subway service breaks down, but no one was interested enough to sign on, unfortunately. I ended up working with two journalists from the CBC on an idea for an app to compare the condo fee performance of different condo buildings. The app would compare condo fees per square foot against other buildings on factors such as age, amenities, and builder to allow condo buyers to make informed choices about their condo purchases.
It was a great event for networking with journalists and seeing what their needs were, although I personally thought their sales pitches went a little long. That said, they also paid for catering and some swag so I guess I shouldn’t mind as much, and there are some interesting Google products I didn’t know about.
Combo 3 deluxe for here please
I followed that up immediately by participating in Startup Weekend Toronto as a developer where our team placed 3rd of 11! More details on that in another post.
Suffice to say, combined with closing a real estate deal, renovations, shuttling between Ottawa and Toronto, and meeting different software companies, it was a pretty busy few weeks and only now that I’ve had some breathing time do I realize that I was a little burnt out by the whole thing. Sleeping on the floor and subsisting on McDonalds probably didn’t help, but now I’ve eaten at the same McDonalds for three different meals and I’ve seen their clientele throughout the day.
Out of the fire, into the pan
Now that things are a little more calmed down (And working in an empty condo for a while) I’m starting to remember why I did Bitmaker Labs – to give me a good foundation for continuing to learn to code so that I could build my own things, and work on interesting projects.
Yesterday I sat down to work on code for an hour or two, and well – it felt nice, to look at code, to search stackoverflow, and figure out ways to get things to work the way I wanted. I emerged with a feeling of focused calm that I only really got before while taking a drawing class years ago.