Daniel Ko
Daniel Ko
May 7 · 3 min read

How it all started…

Back in April 2018, I started to learn web development and I knew that I wanted to work remotely and/or freelance so I looked for groups online that supported a remote collaborative environment and then I found Chingu. Back then I only knew HTML, some Javascript, and pretty much no CSS skills to speak of (I said I knew CSS though). Fast forward a year later and I just completed my third Chingu voyage and I know the MERN stack now. I’ve learned a lot and I want to tell everyone what it’s like to be a Chingu.

What is Chingu and how does it work?

Chingu is a remote collaboration community for like-minded developers to make projects in a team setting. You can sign up on their website and once the next voyage rolls around you will get an email about the next steps, which I will talk about here. So every voyage, things get a little bit changed around or a lot but last voyage it was the first time they added a pre-work section which was a brilliant idea. You get assigned a buddy to pair program with and solve an algorithm challenge. You also are required to complete a solo project according to the tier you wish to sign up for.

Speaking of tiers…

In Chingu there are three tiers:

Disclaimer: These descriptions were taken from the Chingu handbook :)

Tier 1 (Toucan): Teams with Basic HTML/CSS and Javascript. Usually builds projects like Landing Pages.

Tier 2 (Gecko): Teams with Intermediate Javascript and familiarity with Front-End frameworks such as React. Usually builds pure front-end projects.

Tier 3 (Bears): Teams with strong familiarity with Front and Back-End frameworks. Usually builds full-stack projects.

New in voyage 8 was Chimera tier which is a mix of front end and back end, so in between gecko and bear.

Ok so what’s actually so cool about Chingu?

Other than the fact that you’re getting real-world experience working in a team setting you also get exposed to agile development which is a very valuable skill to have. You will learn about working with other people and you will learn how to commit code to Github, how to push it and how to merge code. This is great for beginners. For the more advanced people, you will learn a lot about Scrum (although Chingu doesn’t simulate Scrum 100%, it’s close enough). Chingu has weekly sprints where everything is based on a weekly schedule. I won’t talk about this in detail or this article will be an hour read. In addition to this, my team utilized Trello to manage our tasks. Here is an example of our Trello board:

…and now a little bit about my team and some things I’ve learned

This was my first big full-stack project that I’ve worked on after learning the back-end (which I only had 1 month of experience with prior to this project) and I’ve learned a lot, had a lot of headaches and had to rely on one of my teammates for help on it. Speaking of teammates…

Big shout out to my teammate Owen, who was the back-end guru for our project and to Crystal who carried my non-existent CSS skills and also coming up with the idea for the project. Great teammates :) We also had a designer who helped us with some of the design work. Big thanks to Francesca for putting that designer on our team.

It is my hope that Chingu continues to grow and hopefully in the future, there will be opportunity for developers who were a part of Chingu and got jobs to provide mentorship to current Chingu members or something of the sort. It is actually something I’m very interested in, if it were to become a thing. But in the meantime…I will keep learning and with that, an obligatory yoda gif to end this.

Oh…and a little self-plug, here is the repo for our project: https://github.com/chingu-voyages/v8-bears-team-01 and link to live site at:


and a cool little visualization of our project repo and commit history:


Join our friendly community's mission to create a collaboration & opportunity hub for tech-learners! Developers | Designers | Data Scientists

Daniel Ko

Written by

Daniel Ko



Join our friendly community's mission to create a collaboration & opportunity hub for tech-learners! Developers | Designers | Data Scientists

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade