by PDX Code Guild - Jan. 18, 2017
5 Considerations to Make your Capstone even more A

Every PDX Code Guild concludes with a capstone which gives students the opportunity to reinforce and demonstrate learning. The capstone has been one of my favorite parts of my Code Guild experience. I am really enjoying creating something and being in a space of more self-directed learning. I had the opportunity to attend Demo Day for the previous class. I saw some amazing projects and heard from graduates about lessons learned.

Here are my takeaways:

Presentation Matters.

The most impressive projects were visually striking. They included photography and clean interfaces. Scale your MVP down to the smallest possible MVP – then scale it down again. Four weeks is not a lot of time to put together a beautiful, functional, non-glitchy, project that has been deployed the server. The most successful projects start with a small project and stay focused on that until the MVP is done.

Deploy as early as possible.

Deployed projects made for more impressive demos on demo day. Additionally, deploying can be one of the trickier parts of the project.

Research the API you plan to use before committing to a project idea.

Some APIs are free to use with great documentation. Others are extremely expensive. Others won’t grant access. Projects that rely on a particular API can get significantly delayed by negotiating with a particular API. Craft a project that includes a database, Django, and Javascript. Code Guild sets the expectation that students will incorporate a full stack in their capstone project. The project will need to include a database and front end interaction.