The Problem Chingu is Tackling

Companies need people with technical skills and experience, yet learners are increasingly stuck in what has been termed “tutorial purgatory” and lack accessible opportunities to gain experience building projects in teams.

Tutorial purgatory is when a learner gets stuck in a cycle of watching/reading tutorial videos without building actual projects, ultimately feeling overwhelmed and not gaining the skills they need.

An article published this summer titled "How to escape tutorial purgatory as a new developer" struck a chord in the developer community and is currently one of the top articles on Medium this year with 35k claps and over 100 comments, with most essentially saying "THIS IS ME!"


Chingu is building a global collaboration platform and coding-cohort generator.

A Chingu-cohort is a build-to-learn community, where motivated developers from around the world, are organized into teams to build a project in 8 weeks. We call these cohorts, Voyages.

Chingu so far though has been a collaboration platform without an actual “platform”. For each of the 50+ cohorts we’ve ran - which includes people from 135 different countries - we’ve managed to stay afloat using several unconnected tools such as forms, spreadsheets, slack, github repos, and trellos. With this many people, things tend to get a little messy and chaotic -- for all of us.

Our project for this competition aims to fix this and to allow our thriving underground community to emerge.

User Flow

  1. You sign-in (with Github login)
  2. View the community newsfeed to see activity and progress from the community

If you are currently in a team/Voyage cohort:

  1. You can view your team page to see team details, as well as github and team check-in activity specific to your team
  2. Learn more about your team-mates by viewing their profile or view your own to see past history
  3. Fill in your team's Weekly Check-in to let them know what you've been working on, what you will work on, and if anything has blocked your progress
  4. Edit team project info
  5. View and edit project page, which is viewable by the community
  6. View Project Registry to see all community projects that are being worked on or that have been completed in the past

If you are not currently in a team/Voyage cohort:

  1. Go to Voyage page and apply to an upcoming 8 week Chingu developer cohort

More to come! We have an admin panel in-development for the upcoming October cohort that will automate the facilitation of Voyages: creating and adding team Slack channels/ github repos and adding each member to each, as well as doing admissions and forming teams.

What it does

  • Facilitates engaging coding cohort communities where developers from around the world come together to build projects, meet new friends, and have the opportunity to learn team development skills.
  • Inspires developers to break through the roadblocks (like tutorial purgatory) of becoming a developer
  • Provides an opportunity for developers to experience working in global teams

How we built it

Chingu's back end is made up of PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB and a GraphQL Server, all built on top of Node.js. Our client is built with React and Apollo.

How it brings communities together

  • It's a tool to optimally organize remote developer teams that make up a larger collaborative community
  • Weekly check-in forms to help developers and the community be accountable to their goals together
  • Cohort automation to allow admins more time to support teams and the community-at-large

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge we've faced is in fine-tuning the team formation algorithm (aka choosing questions to ask on the application) and adding the correct weights to each criteria. When we assemble teams we consider everything from timezone, current skill level, learning goals, preferred tech-stack, time commitment per week, among others.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. That we have been able bring so many developers together from all over the world to collaborate, learn and help each other build!
  2. We're proud that our team came together in the past few weeks to overcome the odds, level-up our skills and ship the MVP of this project!

What we learned

That people are supercharged when optimally placed in an engaged community with shared goals. And that this is especially true for learners.

What's next for Chingu

  • Iron out the bugs and processes so that we can facilitate 500 remote developer teams per session
  • Leverage machine learning with remote developer teams at scale to optimally connect developers

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