Post-lockdown, we’re building apps for road trips

(Feature image: © mxbialostocki)

On a chilly mid-winter evening last week, friends, whānau, alumni and community gathered at both Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke campuses to see what had been built by the Kōtare and Mataī cohorts. Every student’s journey at Enspiral Dev Academy culminates in building and presenting a final project before graduating. In the penultimate week, students pitch their product ideas, vote on their favourites, get into groups and assign roles (front-end devs, scrum master, testers). Then, it’s crunch time — they have just one week to build their chosen projects from scratch. Serendipitously, one group from each cohort built an app for road trips — no doubt inspired by post-lockdown wanderlust. There was also a game from each campus! Here’s the low down on the big night.

People chatting on campus in Pōneke (Photo: Bob Zuur)


Alannah Peterson’s dulcet tones serenaded guests as they arrived at the campus in Newmarket last week. Students buzzing with nervous energy ironed their shirts and hovered by the grazing table. Carolyn Taueki-Stott (Auckland Human Skills Facilitator and Community Manager) began by leading the Dev Academy karakia acknowledging Te Uru Rangi, the portal in Māori cosmology to a realm only the highest achievers can access, to bring back new skills for humankind.

After some words from Don Smith (Auckland Lead Teacher) on bootcamp and what students learn during their time here (spoiler: it’s not just code!), the main event began. Three groups of students from the Mataī cohort stepped up to present their creations in public for the first time:

Kiwi Roadies – Plan and map out your road trips, find top attractions and other key stops
EDA Quest – Just like Dev Academy… if Dev Academy were a platformer and the bootcamp obstacles were just big angry Treants!
ABA (A Budgeting App) – Weekly expenditure tracking, setting savings goals, and the option to subscribe for tips on making bank

[Click to enlarge] Screenshots from the Mataī cohort’s final project web apps, Kiwi Roadies and EDA Quest


Cheerful vibes filled the Pōneke campus and Jo Jenkin’s soulful voice and acoustic guitar tunes drew people into the space. Annie Boanas (People and Culture Lead) and Ming Janssen (Events Lead) opened the space with a karakia, again acknowledging Te Uru Rangi. Nerves settle and three confident groups blow us away with their newly acquired tech skills and creativity. The final projects presented by the Kōtare cohort were:

Cheeky Road Trip – For those who enjoy a cheeky road trip but are often in dire need of a bathroom or want to have a cheeky dip
1000 words – The perfect lockdown game! Write a thing, draw a thing, write a thing, draw a thing… Difficulty level is 100+ because you’re drawing on a phone
Pantree – a weekly meal planning app that will help you make a plan from your favourite recipes and shop for the necessary ingredients, connecting users to local suppliers

[Click to enlarge] Screenshots from the Kōtare cohort’s final project web apps, Cheeky Road Trip, 1000 words and Pantree

Ross Jourdain (Wellington Lead Teacher) then spoke to our Kōtare students one last time, not to deliver a technical lecture but a heartfelt kōrero about Humanness in Tech. The ceremony wrapped up with ‘Purea nei’, a waiata sung by all Dev Academy staff.

Congratulations to our wonderful Kōtare and Mataī cohorts — we can’t wait to see what’s next for all of you!

(Photo: Bob Zuur)


(Photo: © mxbialostocki


Our Open Evenings are the best way to see if our programme and kaupapa are right for you. The next event is happening at 5:30pm, Tuesday 20 October.

If you are ready for a change, have a passion for learning and the tenacity to work hard, this is for you. Suitable for all levels of experience. Cohorts fill fast so don’t miss out – learn more or apply now!