At CodeLaunch Ohio, our Columbus team forged connections between skilled industry developers and innovative startups while igniting a passion for the greater good.
On August 21 and 22, 2022, our Columbus practice sponsored and competed in CodeLaunch Ohio, a seed accelerator that partners tech startups with professional software developers to build their products pro-bono in a fast-paced, collaborative environment.
CodeLaunch paired us with ParaWave, a startup seeking to design accessible drone technology for first responders. Competing against four other startup and development team combinations, we worked with Parawave’s founders at the Columbus Development and Innovation Studio.
“CodeLaunch provided an opportunity for our poly-skilled team of developers to step out of their client service work for two focused days of learning, bonding as colleagues and having some great fun in the process. We were excited to partner with ParaWave. Their founders were fantastic to work with, invigorated and unified in purpose to bring their compelling vision to life,” said Doug Hood, Columbus Operating Group Lead.
We began the competition on an even playing field: CodeLaunch provided a framework that limited participation to two days from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and teams to four developers with “hands on the keyboard.” Before the competition began, ParaWave had no codebase to start with, only a business concept, user stories and wireframes.
ParaWave’s wireframes helped our developers flesh out high-level concepts and visualize what ParaWave wanted their final product to look like and how to make it happen.
During CodeLaunch, we stretched outside our comfort zone and quickly applied new concepts on a test-and-learn basis. Our architectural decisions at the beginning of the hackathon fueled our novel approach: we chose a modern cloud-based solution, Azure Media services for streaming capabilities, and a cost-effective Flutter/Dart framework, which would allow users to transfer ParaWave’s app to iOS, Android, Web and Native platforms from a single code base. Our goal was to keep ParaWave’s future costs as low as possible and to allow the application to scale as ParaWave continues to grow.
Using the Flutter app framework required our developers to produce in a new language and demonstrate their ability to acquire and apply new skills quickly. Even our non-participating developers who attended CodeLaunch to observe and support their team members picked up new skills for their own side projects!
Although it would have been easy to build only for the demo at the end of the competition, our team built something both functional and foundational for ParaWave. Our team enjoyed getting buried in code all day, and although the participants agreed that twelve-hour days were long, they wished they had even more time to add glitz and glam to ParaWave’s already strong product.
Doing good feels good. Because of CodeLaunch, ParaWave has a foundational and tangible code platform at no cost to them — a huge acceleration of their concept — and we received the opportunity to collaborate with an amazing startup driven by a commitment to community wellbeing.