2025 Customer Challenge Demo Experience

October 28, 2015 #innovation #vui #javascript

For my company’s 2025 Customer Challenge, my finalist pitch included a live demo.  Teams were allowed 3 minutes of pitch time, and I allocated about 30 seconds for this demo.  Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but they did work out in the end. Why take the risk of a live demo?  Because my mentor, said it would be “awesome” - and he was right.

When my mentor first mentioned the demo idea, I wasn’t sure how I was going to build it.  As luck would have it, I saw an internal posting highlighting an IBM partnership on October 8.  (Luck being defined by the famous quote: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”)  IBM Watson Developer Cloud has services for both Text to Speech and Speech to Text, including sample code that runs in the browser.  This looked promising given my JavaScript and web development background. I spent the following weekend understanding the sample code and getting those projects running.  Then, a couple of nights of some ugly code hacking and I had a demo to present.

I’m glad the demo (mostly) worked out, but I’m even happier that I got to write some code and learn something new.

Kevin Hakanson

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