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The Collab Lab TCL-49 Recap

About the Collab Lab

The Collab Lab is an 8-week coding program for early career developers who want to work on real-world projects with guidance from experienced mentors filled with lots of pair programming, office hours, retrospectives, and code reviews. At the end of every cohort, there is an optional 2-week career lab session for all Collabies to prepare for interviews.

This article recaps the Collab Lab 2022 Q4 cohort for group tcl-49.

TCL-49 collabies & mentors


Cristina Padilla
Teri Eyenike
Debbie Otuagomah
Victoria Emoka


Golfo Vasiliou
Peter Mbanugo
Patrick Niyogitare

Project goal & work process

During 8 weeks, we worked on building a smart shopping list that learns about the user’s buying habits and helps them remember what to buy next. To create our β€œShoppr” app, we used the following technologies: ReactJS, JavaScript, Firebase, Tailwind CSS, and Git. We didn’t only learn and improve our technical skills but also soft skills like communication, (remote) teamwork, and COLLABoration. Additionally, for project management and tracking our work, we used GitHub projects.

Every week we were paired with another collabie to work on an issue, and the pair-programming experience began. Different time zones can sometimes make teamwork a bit tricky, but we organized our schedules and synced to work together on the assigned issue. That way, we could look at the code from different perspectives and learn from our colleagues' problem-solving approaches. Luckily, we also had a weekly session with one of our mentors for potential questions/doubts.

By the end of the week, we didn’t only have our task solved and described on a PR but also had the chance to review our colleagues' code, which was very useful in getting an understanding of how to implement a different feature. The last step was meeting all together (collabies and mentors) to demo our tasks, discuss challenges and successes, suggest improvements during a retrospective, and learn something new with the great learning modules our mentors presented. For example, we learned how to make our app accessible.

Shoppr. app preview

Test our app here!

Our Collab Lab experience

My experience at the Collab Lab was highly positive. Before joining, my expectation was to get first contact with how to work on a real project with other developers. Still, I couldn’t have imagined how many other things I would learn on the way: not only technical aspects but also communication, organization, team collaboration, and of course, getting to know amazing people. I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Going through The Collab Lab has been an incredible journey. From showing you how to do thorough code reviews to collaborating with brilliant developers and helping you pick up solid best practices, the program has it all. Aside from the technical nitty-gritty, I also learned how to communicate with members of a remote team in a helpful way that keeps everyone in sync and signals varying degrees of capacity. I learned how to work with design constraints and incorporate great feedback into a technical project. My teammates all taught me something new every week. Our mentors were exceptional in how they guided us and were generous with their knowledge. If you’re an early-career developer looking for real-world experience in a mistake-friendly environment, TCL is your best bet!

The opportunity to work with fellow developers on a real-world project is gratifying, especially the code reviews and pair programming session with your teammates makes it one of the best ways to see how things work in a modern workplace. The Collab Lab experience will make you more proficient as you get to improve your communication as well as your technical skills. The best recommendation for any early career developer is to join TCL and become a true Collabie

Written with ❀️ by Teri Eyenike, Debbie Otuagomah & Cristina Padilla

Top comments (8)

segdeha profile image
Andrew Hedges

So fun getting to know you all a little over the past 8 weeks! Your team did such a nice job working together to build the app and your teamwork skills. Nice work!

crispitipina profile image

Thank you @segdeha for organising such an amazing experience :)

adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

It's so great to know each one of you and see you all collaborate in creating this awesome app as a team! ❀️

Great job, everyone! πŸŽ‰

crispitipina profile image

Thank you @adiatiayu. It has also been great getting to know you and your personal experience :)

yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» GDE

Nice work on your app and very well written recap. I am glad you all enjoyed the collab lab and hopefully gained out a lot from it.

crispitipina profile image

For sure we all did! Thank you for the recommendation ;)

marcinwosinek profile image
Marcin Wosinek

Nice! Looks like a learning experience to be recommend to many IT learners.

crispitipina profile image