March 10

Demo Day

Demo day was a huge let down. We had some problems from the beginning when our original demo day was cancelled due to the weather. I want to think it would have been better if it happened on schedule, but I’m not sure.

There were some interesting employers in the room during the lunch presentation, but they disappeared right after lunch. For the open house we mostly just stood around waiting for someone to come by and look at our projects – and no one came. Or very few…

There were about 3 that made it to my end of the room, but none of them came through my (assigned) row. I managed to drag a couple in and ended up showing my demo to a lady from WorkSource (state employment agency) and a prospective student.

I was not expecting much and did not put as much effort into preparing as some of my classmates. I was still hoping for a little more than that though.

The idea behind demo day is a “reverse job fair”… where the job seekers present their work to prospective employers instead of employers handing out cards or applications to job seekers. They say the results are better.

I talked to Rachel, who manages most of these job hunting things at Epicodus and she said that sometimes the employers make notes of people they’d like to connect with and so not everything happens on demo day itself.

And they DID tell us the best way to get attention at demo day was to be a presenter. Those who did lunch presentations not only got to show their project to everyone there, they also got the most traffic at the open house.

So if you are a student, or a prospective student, at Epicodus… sign up early for those lunch presentations!

When they ask us for changes though I will probably say don’t do the presentations on a first come – first served basis. I think they do that to be fair to the students. But…

I think instead of being fair, it short changes everyone that doesn’t present.

No one explains this “first come, first served” method of choosing presenters. I think that I would assume, and most employers probably do too, that the presenters are the best projects in the room.  So they may leave if they didn’t like ALL the projects presented thinking they have seen anything of interest.

If the presenters had to be the “best” of the class (by classmate vote, by teacher recommendation… something) then we’d have a better chance of thinking there were still good projects to be seen. But if just ONE person blows the presentation, then those who didn’t present may be losing out entirely.

But now that demo day is over, I’m finally, officially, completely “done” with the course. And still looking for work, but with a few good leads this week.

Copyright 2017. Karen Freeman-Smith. All rights reserved.

Posted March 10, 2017 by KAS in category "Career Change", "Epicodus