Our Whim app reached a milestone today by providing over 1,000,000 trips for our community! In order to track the One Million Milestone as it approached, our team collaborated to create a hand-made LED countdown display and a real-time data pipeline to give us up-to-date trip counts.

James Nguyen, slayer of UK transport certification dragons, kindly set up a “paranormal activity livestream” camera, so we could watch the countdown clock remotely. Duc Do, our iOS banana detection engineer, returned to the office in the middle of the night to restart the equipment, after supernatural forces conspired to disable the livestream. Duc said plainly, “I just turned it off and on again.” This teamwork instrumental in our being able to see the actual 1,000,001 milestone (pictured above), as no one was in the office at that time of the morning.

Konrad Markus, resident Mad Scientist, crafted a case for this display from balsa wood purchased at a local hobby store, four LED panels, and two Raspberry Pis (one Pi to run the display and a second to update the counter, as the display consumed most of the first Pi’s CPU).

Konrad also created a custom, open source software library called “led-o-matic” to control the LED display over a local network. The led-o-matic can be found here.

Eetu Tuomala, soft spoken AWS Cowboy, connected several components in order to stream the real-time data to an API endpoint:

 

The actual Million Trip Milestone passed early in the morning on July 11th. We commemorated the same day with bubbly and confetti!