Penn's Coding Boot Camp wraps up with final project showcase

Students made presentations at Pennovation Works in West Philadelphia.

Andrew Kramer
July 20, 2018 - 11:36 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Dozens of students of all ages who have been enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania's inaugural Coding Boot Camp since January are graduating this weekend. 

But first, their final projects were on display for all to see Thursday night at Pennovation Works in West Philadelphia.

"They've done JavaScript and Java and HTML," explained Rita McGlone, executive director of Penn's organizational and development group. "They've learned a variety of skills, but mostly what they've really done is practiced how to translate those skills into the workplace."

She calls this six-month program "rigorous," and says that helps these students, many of whom are now set to begin job searching.

"It's our mission at Penn to provide workforce development programs for adult learners," McGlone said, "but also because we feel like we're making a contribution to the Philadelphia workforce."

One of the students, Michael McVeigh, who was working as a grave digger as he entered boot camp, has already been offered a job at a nonprofit that builds educational software.

For his final project, he helped make a chat app for Philadelphians.

"It'll put you in a chat room in your neighborhood and it'll grab the location of your neighborhood and outline it on a map for you so you can see who you're chatting with," he explained.

Alexa Stefanou, another boot camp student, is still looking for employment. Her final project was designed for candy lovers.

"I created an application that helps to show the difference with chocolate to peanut butter ratio in all of the different Reese's cups," she explained, "because they're all different."

She said she can eventually match each user with his or her ideal Reese's cup. 

Like Michael and Alexa, the majority of students created an app for their final project.