Monthly Archives: May 2015

Post Demo Day Update

We made it! Demo Day was last Saturday, and it was a success. Not only were we able to bring dogs (who were a hit), had a successful presentation (in which no one threw up) and we won Most Original App Idea.

It’s been a great semester, full of ups and downs but ultimately we succeeded in our goal, which was to create a functioning app. We’re going to take a small break, what with finals and graduation and end of semester shenanigans, but we have some exciting updates in mind and we will keep y’all updated through our Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as when the app is finally available in the app store.

It’s been a great semester and a great experience, we wanted to thank everyone who came out to Demo Day and met Chip and Percy, they were excited but kind of overwhelmed and definitely exhausted by the end of the day. Naps were taken (both by human and dog members of the team).

To bid you guys adieu, here’s a compilation of our best social media moments throughout the semester. In case you haven’t been keeping up with us yourself, which of course we know you have.

 

The Demo Day Blues

The semester is finally over and finals are on the way. We’ve looked forward to this day since the semester began in January, and now that it’s finally here we’re a little sad. We’ve worked so hard to get this far, and we’ve made so much progress that it’s bittersweet that we’re actually done now.

This semester has been chock-full of challenges, but it’s great experience and we’ve had a lot of fun. We worked tirelessly all semester to get choreBoard up and running just to be able to get a chance at debuting our hard work at Demo Day, and that we did. Demo day was initially pretty intimidating. None of had much or any iOS experience to begin with, so we were faced with the biggest challenge of learning how to build choreBoard. We spent hours looking up tutorials and Swift guides in order to learn how to make choreBoard become a reality. Luckily, that all paid off in the end. We were beyond ecstatic.

Demo day was a blast! All of the teams: (iSleepLate, ProfsUT, Echoed, Petwork, UniTrade, and choreBoard) met up at Belo around noon to get ready for our presentations. Some groups brought stickers and flyers, but choreBoard went a different path.

At first we had a little trouble figuring out how to promote our app, but after some time, we had a solid plan in place. We thought long and hard about what we could bring with us and eventually decided to get a little creative and take on a DIY project, a photo booth. But ain’t nobody got time or money to build a booth, so we had to alter our plan a bit. We still wanted to have something people could take pictures with, so we scaled down and compromised.

We wanted to do something fun with our ever-growing list of snarky remarks, so we took to social media a few nights prior to D-Day with ten of our favorite remarks and asked our followers to pick their top five. Once we had those chosen, we printed them out on thought bubble outlines and glued them onto sticks. Wala, we just created the perfect photo-op.

We’d found a way to let people take pictures AND got that DIY-fix we’d been looking for. But we weren’t done yet. We needed interaction, and that’s when we decided to bring a whiteboard so people stopping by our booth could tell us what their least favorite chore was. We made a nifty sign too.

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Everything went as planned and our presentation went off without a hitch. We were pretty nervous at first since we were third in line to present, but once we were actually on stage everything just fell into place.

We had a great time, met a lot of people, ate some cookies and got some great reviews about choreBoard. We even got to meet Snapchat’s Head of Discovery, Nick Bell and the Statesman’s editor, Debbie Hiott! Lucky, right?!

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Though the semester is now officially over, choreBoard 1.0 is on the way! We’re still waiting on Apple for our debut in the app store, but we’re confident and excited for the moment we (hopefully) get our acceptance letter. We’ve got a lot of things planned for choreBoard’s future, so we hope you guys stick with us and look forward to the future updates.

Have a great summer!

All Good Things Must End: Parting Words from Teacher’s Pet

This is it; the last blog post of the semester. Instead of one sentimental goodbye post as a group, each member of Teacher’s Pet wanted to share their own thoughts on the semester.

Bryant Peng: What a semester it’s been! It’s been rewarding and a honestly a little scary to see all the pieces come together. I knew it was going to happen, but it’s still unbelievable to seeing that this team has made something real, something that’ll go into the real world. Knowing that I had a part in making this feels good, and it’s definitely something I can be proud of. I’ve learned so much from doing these interviews, and working with Premiere in the editing labs has definitely been a challenge as well as a welcome change of pace from Xcode. My lips are sealed, but I’m hoping to apply to these skills in the near future…

Landon Pederson: Much like the past three and a half years I’ve spent here at UT, this semester was a blur. It feels like yesterday we were getting to know each other and working out the teams the first couple of weeks of the semester. When the class barely started I had no idea what to expect, but I can honestly say this was one of the best classes I’ve taken in my college career. Seeing what it takes to create an app and learning about the world of Computer Science was an incredible opportunity. My teammates made this an awesome experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better group. I’m proud to say I helped build an app and will carry that accomplishment with me throughout my career.

Mercedes Cordero: Coming into this class was a little bit intimidating not knowing what to expect. The team speed dating also didn’t help either, but now I think I made the best decision deciding to to stay with Team Teachers Pet. I got to meet new people that made this class so much fun. Although I didn’t do any coding like I would like have I trusted my teammates 100 percent. I never thought I would ever be part of an app developing team and now I am amazed by the work that each individual put in to make profsUT an awesome app. Getting to interview the professors was an experience in itself. All the team was able to conduct some interviews which was great! Definitely one of the best classes in the journalism school. It’s a great feeling being able to say “yeah I was part of that developing team” and showing off what you have accomplished in such a short time. This accomplishment is definitely the cherry on top for my senior year!

Zac Ioannidis: This semester was a blur to me as well, despite (or maybe because) of all the work the team put into making this app a reality. I’m very happy we persisted with a pragmatic idea that encompassed a lot of different aspects to it other than coding, such as taking interviews from professors, editing many videos, or even reaching out to the IT department in order to gain access to the registrar data. I see the culmination of this course and having an app developed not as the end of our team’s journey, but as the beginning of a new adventure in which we continue to improve our product and set out to see how we can realistically make it more useful to UT students (and maybe others too). This course has confirmed my hypothesis that working in an interdisciplinary team and interacting with teammates from different backgrounds is infinitely more rewarding compared to the alternative option. I am very happy to have taken this class and my memories of this class and semester will be happy ones. As for what the future holds for our team, stay tuned!

Miles Hutson: With the semester at a close, I am relieved to have the app done and everything working, but I also know that I can’t wait to do it all again. If this class has confirmed anything for me, it’s that I love working at the intersection between people, multimedia and technology. Keep an eye out for what everyone in this class does next, because I think that this class was too full of creative and interesting ideas for people in it to not go on and do something big!

Thank you so much to everyone who supported and followed profsUT along this incredible journey!

Teacher's Pet

Carry on my wayward son

iSleepLate Version 1.0 is officially complete, and the feeling is bittersweet. The four of us have thoroughly enjoyed working together over the past several months, and while it is sad to see it come to a close, knowing that we created something entirely from scratch and saw it through to the end is an incredible feeling.

Though we were initially nervous to give our Demo Day presentation on Saturday, it went more smoothly than we ever could have hoped. Once we got up on stage and began presenting, all of our hard work spoke for itself, and it is safe to say that some of the judges saw that. We were lucky enough to win the award for Best App Design, which validated all of the hard work we have done over the past three months and made every minute worth it.

All four of us were lucky enough to be part of a group that got along exceptionally well. Throughout this entire process, we got along, supported each other, and were able to communicate effectively. As we stated in our presentation and perhaps best of all, we were honest with each other, and that’s what really makes for a good team – not just effective communication but honest, effective communication. All of these elements combined led to a successful app.

The future holds big things for each of us. Duff is graduating and moving back to his home state of California, where he will be working for Apple. Laura, on the other hand, is going to be interning in Omaha, Nebraska, and Danielle is going to be interning at KUT here in Austin.

Looking back, it is truly amazing to see the progress we have made throughout the semester, and each and every one of us are grateful to have had this experience.

The Grand Finale

It’s best to go out on a high note, and Demo Day was definitely the apotheosis of the semester–and it couldn’t have gone any better for Echoed.

We were honored to receive the award for “Best App,” and inspired to see the reception from the judged and member of the audience, who, without us even mentioning it, envisioned other profitable applications for Echoed.

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As we look back on the semester, we are proud of our accomplishments. Echoed now has 159 Twitter followers and has been favorited 105 times. We also have 130 Facebook likes.

We have even started to penetrate our target market, generating serious interest from reporters, editors and photographers (they record interviews, too!) at the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, the Associated Press and several other publications in Texas.

Echoed is also getting some media coverage. Burntx ran a nice piece featuring us. Built in Austin also showcased Echoed.

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Team Echoed at Demo Day explaining why Echoed is better than the competition–especially TapeACall.

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Team Echoed receiving praise from Clarify and Christian McDonald of the Austin American-Statesman. Clarify has pledged to help us in any way they can.

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The Echoed Team celebrating a successful presentation.

But as the semester winds down, Team Echoed is gearing up for a big summer. We are within a few weeks of rolling out version 1.0 with the help of Clarify, and we will be infiltrating the Austin American-Statesman later this summer to expand our reach.

Although we are signing off for the semester, stay tuned because Echoed is just getting warmed up.

–Team Echoed

Taylor Villarreal
Sam Tipton
Faith Anne Ruszkowski
Jacob WIlliamson
Andy East