8.1 & 8.2 Demo Day Recap Video
Over the past year, our Pursuit Fellows completed an intensive immersion in the fundamentals of software development, industry fluency, and the leadership and professional development skills needed to become a professional software developer.
As part of this process, they spent eight weeks building their capstone projects – a major milestone for them – which they presented at Pursuit’s annual Demo Days, held in-person this year at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.
Throughout the two-day event, team members shared their personal journeys – particularly what led them to pursuing careers in software engineering – and showcased their full-featured apps, which addressed a broad range of topics like food insecurity, crypto, the environment, mental health, music, and more.
A panel of industry experts and community partners praised the Fellows’ projects and offered them important feedback – and not simply about their product, but about owning their respective narratives.
“You can’t change where you’re coming from,” said panelist Jumi Barnes, Managing Director and Technology Fellow of Investment Banking Engineering at Goldman Sachs, “but you can change where you’re going, and that’s what you all are doing now.”
Panelist Jumi Barnes, Managing Director and Technology Fellow of Investment Banking Engineering at Goldman Sachs
And James McGinniss, the CEO and Co-Founder of David Energy, reminded Fellows that their diverse backgrounds are advantages.
“Even if you didn’t have a college degree, it’ll lead to a lot of the out-of-box thinking that we saw on the stage here, so don’t shy away from that.”
James McGinniss, CEO and Co-Founder of David Energy
Other panelists who joined us included: Khalid El Khatib, Chief Marketing Officer at Stack Overflow; Chris Maddern, Co-Founder & CEO of Floor; Hans Sayyadi, Director of Engineering, Search and Personalization (Uber Eats); Matt Diebolt, Chief Technology Officer at Poll Everywhere; Corey Hajim, Business Curator at TED Conferences; Natasha Holiday, Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets; Sarah Walker, VP of Product & Engineering at Ribbon; and Ken Ng, Grant Program Lead at Uniswap Foundation.
Although Demo Days are behind – and even after they begin their first job – Pursuit will continue to work with them and our employer partners to provide an additional three years of support and service to help Fellows build their careers.
All of this is part of our model and reflects our deepest commitment: to create change in the tech industry and give our Fellows not only the tools they need to succeed as developers, but also the tools they need to succeed in their careers.
The journey to this point hasn’t been easy for them, we know, but we are grateful to join alongside them as they continue to transform their lives.