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The hackathon also introduced me to the key elements of Human Centred Design for developing apps which incorporate Design Thinking and Business Models. Design Thinking is a process where you start with an idea, develop a prototype and continually improve the product based on feedback from users. For us, this meant sending out surveys, receiving feedback on a wireframe demo and consulting with our user communities. In terms of the Sign2Word app, it meant consulting with the Deaf community. It was the most important stage of development so far and involved incorporating British Sign Language into the surveys. The feedback helped to ensure that our app would be properly accessible. Importantly, the design of the app needs to be led by young Deaf students for whom it is designed. We got lots of encouragement from the Deaf community and National organisations who support the Deaf children. As a result, we hope to run some coding and AI sessions for the Deaf students at Imran’s former school so they can contribute to the development of the app and come up with their own Tech4Good ideas. We also want to set up a diverse and representative dataset of British Sign language words for Machine Learning. Over the course of the lockdown I really developed as a coder, learning how to build apps in Swift, Flutter and React Native, and how to incorporate AI features into them. I also learned a valuable lesson about source control (backing up your code online). Just before the final submission of the #YouthVsCOVID hackathon my code didn’t work, but because I’d backed it up to GitHub, all I had to do was restore my previous version of code 40

Brilliant Labs Magazine Revue Labos Créatifs

and I was saved. I deepened my understanding around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, following numerous tutorials, exploring Google’s Teachable Machine and delving into Tensorflow and PyTorch. A lot of this learning was facilitated by the brilliant mentors that supported us in the #YouthVsCOVID hackathon and the Nesta Longitude Explorer Prize. Another thing I learned was that it is challenging to be a team leader/ project manager; it’s really hard work. We had lots of pivot points during the design thinking process but communicating them to everyone and ensuring we were all on the same page, was far from easy. I had a very high level of commitment and ambition, but expecting that, continuously, from every member of the team was unrealistic, especially if over several months. Our YCM is big on gender equality but half way through the Nesta competition we had to re-evaluate our roles in the team, to really make sure that the female team members were equally involved in the coding. I was doing most of the AI and React Native work so this required me to take a step back and hand over the front end development role to them. Although this was quite hard for me to do at first, it was ultimately rewarding and opened up a conversation within the YCM community on how we can challenge these gender stereotypes in the tech industry. Everyone needs opportunities to build up their coding skills - it makes for a more rounded team. Reflection Ultimately, it's really important to

experience failures as you are developing skills and knowledge in relation to tech. It helps you realise what's missing and what the gaps in your knowledge are. Then, if you take failure as a lesson there are so many things you can learn from it. When you are part of a team and you fail to win competitions or achieve the results that you set for yourself, it's really nice to be able to learn how to manage disappointment together and know that it’s ok because that's how you build resilience. The lockdown gave us the opportunity to think a bit differently, like engaging via virtual platforms at a global level, and it pushed us to ideate and come up with ideas, but then follow through the whole Design Thinking process all the way through to pitching our idea to a panel of judges. It’s something we will never forget when we think about covid 19 and the lockdown we will always think of those virtual meetups, hackathons and the intensity of the competitions with a smile on our face. Already, Adonai has run a digital summer camp for younger YCMers over August and has received some fantastic feedback. We are happy that there were a lot of Black and Ethnic Minorities (BME) participants -doing our part for the #BlackLivesMatters campaign. We also ran virtual YCM coding tracks on a Friday evening for our more advanced YCM members on React Native and Javascript, which also went really well. We have a much deeper understanding of AI and how it can be incorporated into Tech4Good apps and we’ve grown closer, working in teams, and look forward to running some more Young Coders Meetups in the new year. Hopefully we can collaborate with Brilliant Labs so we can reach out to young coders in Canada in the new