The Bad Cohort Strikes Back


UPDATE 09/20/2014: Due to popular demand, I have restored this post to its former glory.

It’s a bit unfortunate that word on the street is that my cohort is apparently now known as the bad one, but so it goes when you have a couple overly demanding students that ruin things for everyone. I really do sympathize with Bitmaker Labs though; I guess some people couldn’t handle the fact that learning isn’t something that gets magically implanted into your brain but rather a process that takes more time than certain individuals were willing to give. It does suck a bit then that our cohort’s reputation was soured by just a few people when the majority were pretty great… but it’s also pretty sweet that our cohort has now started a winning streak when it comes to scooping hackathons (who’s the bad cohort now? BWAHAHAHA).

Which brings us to NASA’s space hackathon that took place this past weekend at the Ontario Science Centre. The idea that Ale and I had was to use wearable technology so that theoretical space tourists, who found themselves detached from their space ship and drifting away to nowhere, could use simple hand motions to navigate their jets. Additionally, the tech could also detect when a user wasn’t in balance and then read their motions to balance them out. Check out video of our presentation below:

Our approach to this hackathon was way more casual than the library one a few weeks ago. Whereas last time I had a whole bunch of stuff planned out beforehand and coded for hours upon hours while my eyes bled from the computer screen, this weekend we slept in, got to the science centre at around 11am and proceeded to “chill hack” for the proceeding portion of the weekend. There must not be very much justice in the world because this strategy ultimately led to us winning the Ontario Science Centre award. Meaning: our app will get its own exhibition in the Science Centre for an entire year! At this point, we’re not sure what the final form of the app will look like but we definitely want to expand it and work all the bugs out before its official debut. But all that will be figured out soon. Now, it’s time to rest (for at least one day anyways).

Special shout-out to the new cohort who entered the hackathon alongside us with just three weeks of programming experience. It’s insane that they managed to finish their incredibly polished app with so little experience in Rails but it just goes to show how much you can accomplish if you put your mind to it. You can check out earthy here, and be ashamed of yourself when you find out just how terrible your geography skills actually are.

Until next time!