Coding for GOOD: Meet the Top Three Finalists

Posted by GOOD Partner


This content was produced by GOOD with support of Apollo Group

Last October, GOOD and Apollo Group announced the launch of Coding for GOOD, an opportunity to gain skills in coding and, for one lucky participant, a chance to work with us here at GOOD. The program is our effort to bridge the skills gap through real-world application.

Participants had eight weeks to take sixteen free coding lessons and submit a final project using the skills they learned by December 30, 2012. We received many great submissions and after careful review, are excited to announce our top three finalists. Each will be flown to Los Angeles to compete in a weekend hack-a-thon at the Google offices in Venice, California on January 26 and 27. The winner of the hack-a-thon will have the opportunity to receive a job offer from GOOD.

Finalist Ada Ng

Meet Ada Ng from Brooklyn, New York. A recent Cornell University graduate with a degree in design and environmental analysis, Ng found herself with a desire to continue learning post-graduation. Wanting to add to her skill set, Ng began taking classes on Coursera about Gamification, Human-Computer Interaction and Interactive Python. A professor suggested she pick up some coding and serendipitously soon after, Ng was introduced to Coding For GOOD through an email from The Daily GOOD. Inspired by her love of travel, Ng completed her final project with through trial and error coupled with reevaluation and persistence.

Ng, who enjoys “living the experience of traveling before going on a trip,” combined the Google Maps API with the Instagram API, allowing the user to click a start and end destination. While a count down clock showcases the time it will take the user to get to their destination, an Instagram photo appears to delight friends and family as they anticipate your arrival.

Finalist Brian Bonus

Brian Bonus, currently a junior television editor in Los Angeles, has always been interested in pursuing a diverse range of subjects. Most recently interested in learning more about software engineering, Bonus tried an Udacity class and learned Python, a programming language, without any prior experience. On a roll, Bonus taught himself Java and then stumbled upon Coding for GOOD. With a new motivation to speed up his timeline to learn HTML/CSS and Javascript skills, Bonus bought a book to supplement the lessons and spent his holiday break coding.

For his final project, Bonus created a digital memory card game that utilizes Instagram photos. Players enter a keyword to pull from the Instagram API, and the program generates a series of photos for the user to flip and match at their leisure.

Finalist Corey Speisman

Corey Speisman of Arlington, Virginia, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa, where he discovered a passion for MAX/MSP, a visual programming language. Often spending hours simulating and replicating synthesizer theories, Speisman moved to NYC to pursue a career in audio engineering, but realized the music business was not for him. Looking for a career change, Speisman applied to grad school for computer science, only to be turned away for his lack of math and programming coursework. Instead, Speisman graduated this past December with a degree in IT management while pursuing his passion for programming on his own. The Coding for GOOD curriculum has allowed him to pace himself as he learned and mastered these new languages.

Most intrigued by Javascript and Jquery, Speisman created his final project around Jquery UI libraries in a simple web app that mimics magnetic refrigerator door poems. The project “allows end-users to create their own unique, quirky, and funny poems by clicking and re-arranging the words on the screen.”

Congratulations to all our three finalists and check back at GOOD to hear more about the hack-a-thon—or sign up below to join us.

If you are in Los Angeles and would like to meet our finalists and see the projects they create during the hack-a-thon, RSVP here for Google Hack-a-thon Demo Night on Sunday, January 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.