Finding teammates for a hackathon project has always been frustration-inducing. First, one needs to craft lofty self-introductions before posting it onto #looking-for-team and trying to catch up to other posts. Then comes scrolling, scrolling, searching, bouncing into people who may not be a good fit for your team and even being thrown under the bus... This is no more with 4Pair, a team forming tool that is designed for effortless connection with like-minded others.

What it does

Finding teammates for Hackathon shouldn’t be this hard, which is why we present to you 4Pair - an innovative online platform that intelligently pairs Hackathon participants up based on their abilities and traits. As a participant, simply answer a few questions to register, and you will have access to a list of all other registered participants, sorted based on who our system predicts will be a perfect partner. Once you find someone suitable, simply click the “add” button to invite them to partner up with you. Participants who already belong to a full team will not show up on the search. You can also view and approve those who wish to partner with you and join your team under “My Connections” tab. Event organizers can easily set up an event here and send participants an invite to join via email.

By developing and deploying 4Pair, Hackathon participants can spend time on what matters - brainstorming and coding!

How we built it

The front end is built on the foundation of HTML, CSS, bootstrap and Javascript (Node.js). It consists of a landing webpage, a sign-on portal and a interactive page to showcase everything about hackathons and attendees one might have interest to team up with. Each page is made from EJS scripting, and allows us to effectively merge and take advantage of the powers of each language.

The back end of the application lives on a mongoose web server. It takes the job of survey distribution, collection and analysis. By natural language processing, we are able to extract meaningful information of event candidate's skills, interest, traits, and ultimately determine the best choices of teammates for them.

Challenges we ran into

We had challenges when initially we planned to set up SurveyMonkey API as the user registration form. However, after spending some time at it, we realized that the functionality that SurveyMonkey provides does not fit our needs - therefore, we decided to design a custom form ourselves. This took time, but we are satisfied with the results.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We call 4Pair "the smashup of LinkedIn and Tinder": A streamlined interface brings the most relevant venues and team to your fingertips.

What's next for 4Pair

We think this tool has so much potential at and beyond hackathon. In the day and age where team collaboration is key, freelance workers can use 4Pair to connect, acquaint and get involve in creative projects. The rise of collaborative work environment such as Wework would also foster the use of networking tools nimble enough for easy conversing without being a burden in a professional setting.

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