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Wyncode Miami’s Pitch Day: Cohort IX

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The creators of “EmojiSentiment,” Dan Jaramillo, left, Alex Vera, center, and Cameron Eckleberry, right, are all smiles at the conclusion of Wyncode Pitch Day IX, after their app is announced as the winner.

On May 26, 2016 Wyncode Miami’s Cohort IX celebrated their graduation with a ceremony known as Pitch Day. The moment the students have been waiting for, graduating from the first licensed coding academy in Florida to pitch their web applications showcasing their knowledge from the past nine weeks.

“You’re presenting your thesis to the public and officially becoming a part of this [Miami tech] community,” said Bianca Monaco, the campus Director for Wyncode Miami.

The program is run at a boot camp level, taking their students from “zero to developer” in just a couple months. It focuses on training in Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3; but it does not stop at software skills, they also work on business and leadership skills to ensure the individuals are well rounded as they enter a fast paced, evolving industry.

The nine projects presented were preceded by a talk from Ed Toro, a head instructor at Wyncode Miami. His advice to the audience, and more directly cohort nine, was about patience. He defined the term as waiting without complaint and quoted the cliché “all we need is a little patience.” However, he was quick to refute that statement saying that patience is overrated when it is used as placeholder for fairness.

“Impatience moves us forward,” said Toro, and it is because of this impatience that new technology is created and our society advances.

Cohort nine’s applications tapped into many different industries such as networking, gaming, leisure, booking, security, investment, travel and parking.

At the end of the night a winner was chosen by the guest panel, which included Ralph Valdes, VP of engineering at Zumba Fitness; Laura Gonzalez-Estefani, Director of International Business Development and Mobile Partnerships; Stephanie Serafine, senior engineer at Equisolve; and Adam Garfield, founder and CEO of Speede Tab.

The winner was “EmojiSentiment,” a web application that calculates the basic metrics of emojis, created by Dan Jaramillo, Alex Vera and Cameron Eckleberry.

The app was created due to companies’ need to track their marketing campaigns through social media. The technology allows companies to run tweets through an algorithm to find a positive, negative or neutral response. Instead of tracking the sentiment of words or hashtags, “EmojiSentiment” tracks emojis, which Jaramillo argues can often be more expressive than words.

“The happy face, the hearts, the clapping, mean that you’re doing something right,” said Eckleberry.

The trio’s next step for their web application is to integrate further into other social media outlets, at the moment it only operates with twitter. They would like to integrate with Facebook next.

“One of the most important things we’ve learned here is to step out of our comfort zone, really Wyncode is pushing us to do that everyday. Everyday that we come in here we are learning something new,” said Jaramillo.

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The students of Wyncode Miami’s Cohort nine celebrate at the conclusion of Pitch Day IX, where they present the web applications they created during the nine week coding boot camp program.

Leslie Ovalle | June 8, 2016