What do computer monitors, TV screens, mobile devices, banners, cupcakes, and enthusiasm have in common? All of them were boldly displayed at 59 Days of Code showcase last Saturday. Excited voices buzzed all around us as the public made their way through the booths looking halfway puzzled and inquisitive asking each team what they were looking at and what it all meant.

For us at Pixelnaut Press it meant two things:

  1. Our official public debut
  2. Look at all the awesome dev and design work

Our goal from day one has not changed a bit: we love what we do, we want to talk about it, we are doing this for ourselves and other creatives out there, ain’t no one gonna stop this train choo choo! (I bet your brain is adding extra words to “choo choo”). That got out of hand quickly. The takeaway here is that a competition feels a lot less like a competition if what you’re presenting is something that you do as your occupation, the occupation that you love and live for (it’s never a job if you love to do it).

During the time at our booth we learned that the Central Valley is becoming very interested in design and development, programing in general, and all the cool stuff that we like to do. Quite often you get a feeling that Fresno is stuck in some weird state of sameness. You buy a house, pay the mortgage, send your kid off to one of the dozen schools Fresno has to offer, maybe go out to Applebee’s every once in a while… Repeat.

This kind of “Valley Lull” unfortunately overshadows the vibrant and teeming with talent developer and design culture that not only has been here for years but is expanding at full speed ahead (choo choo!). Across from our booth there was this circular lounge area that was actually very comfortable and attractive. It was there that I overheard a lady say to another, “It’s like our own Silicon Valley. I think this is just great!” Little by little we’re starting to see this growing enthusiasm emerge out of our public. Yes, we have the same level tech minds as any other large city. Yes, we have top notch designers that rival any East Coast big names. Yes, we think critically and bring fresh ideas to life and into the market.

After a full day of recovery I started to reflect on the past event that took at the minimum 12 hours to get through. We made it into the top 3 in our category, but didn’t win. Wait, we made it into the top 3 in our category, are you kidding me?! I’m pretty positive my heart skipped a beat when Irma called out “Pixelnaut Press” for the top 3 contestants. It then skipped another beat when I looked at that daunting podium that I was about to stand on and present ourselves to 200+ strangers. Sure, I’ve been doing it all day at our booth… but the podium, it holds the ultimate power to make any confident individual to think twice about the words that are about to escape out of their lips. Not to mention, all attention is on you! It’s that mixed emotion of feeling the eyes burning right through you and steadfast judging. Maybe this tells more about me than the podium…

To conclude my collection of haphazard thoughts I will say this: Thank you! Thank you for showing up to the showcase and viewing all of the talent that came out that day. Thank you for all of the great advice and guidance (this one is for you judges and 59 Days of Code board members). Thank you for thanking us for being there!

Carry on Pixelnauts, we’re not done with our mission yet!

Original post on Pixelnaut Press