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Ten weeks of trial by fire: AI Camp’s Incubator Internship in a nutshell

Who we are

We are a team of four high school students from across the United States: Advay, Alex, Sanjay, and Zac. After participating in the AI Camp summer program, we were invited to join the Incubator Internship with AI Camp. The race to develop our own product began…

Ten weeks. Four developers. One lesson.

Ideation

When we first met, we got started right away with familiarizing ourselves with the new environment with which we would operate in. We met bi-weekly on Mondays and Saturdays to discuss our progress and answer any questions. In our first meeting, our advisor, Michael Ke Zhang, told us that we’d be working on a mobile app called AI on Thumbs, which strives to teach learners of all backgrounds and age groups the basics of Artificial Intelligence through short, interactive lessons. Our job: create a second lesson for the app. We were all excited to hear of this, developing the second lesson under the supervision of senior developers — working with them and learning about app development along the way.

Beginning of a Project

We were excited to work on this app and started planning out our ideas for a lesson. For the first half of the internship, we brainstormed ideas for a second lesson, and by week four, we were ready to present our idea. When we were reviewing our plan with Michael, we realized that we only created an outline for the lesson and designing the lesson’s contents into separate screens would take a significant amount of time. Worried that we wouldn’t have time to fully develop and program the lesson from scratch, Michael informed us that lesson one (the facial recognition algorithm) would be split in two because it was too long. Even though we were a little bummed about not being able to design our lesson altogether, we were also pretty relieved that we would have something to call our own.

Actual Beginning of a Project

Once we knew what our project would be, we started to meet with the developers weekly on Sundays to learn of the specific programs we would be tasked with creating. The lesson was already drawn out using an application called Figma. The leader of this team, Mitch Cutts, helped split up the different screens we would code. We started with static or non-moving screens, and proceeded to increase the difficulty with making dynamic or interactive screens. We all didn’t have experience with JavaScript and React Native, therefore, we had to watch tutorials and create mini-projects to learn a completely new language and program an app. With reviewers Jackson Choyce, Alexander Zhou, and many more, we learned the proper syntax for React Native and fixed our coding errors. They are fantastic mentors who were able to help us grow as programmers, leaders, and individuals.

End of a Project

After a quick turnaround of about 5 weeks, we had our second lesson ready. We made beta test builds for iOS and Android, and we had some beta testing sessions, receiving feedback from our peers and instructors alike. After this, we improved our application based on their critiques, and we became ready to deploy our mobile app! We are so thankful for everyone who has helped us throughout this process including Michael Ke Zhang, Alex Duffy, Mitch Cutts, Axel Mora, Jackson Choyce, Alexander Zhou, and Rohan Joshi. Without these people, our project wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. From enhanced coding skills to collaborating as a team, through this internship, we have become better prepared for a future in software development. It has been a long journey, but it was an amazing experience!

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