Originally an app for garbage cleanup, we decided to pick the next closest thing: Hollywood actors! We wanted a quick and easy way to rank them based on the preferences of multiple users.

No, but seriously. Originally, this app would be an app for encouragement of community garbage cleanup. Due to disagreements about this subject within the team, we decided to keep the planned framework but change the theme to one of competitive one-upping your friends (Hence the repo name, "TopThis"). However, we found that this relied too heavily on skills and resources we did not have, and decided to keep the image sharing and voting aspect only. That is how ActR was born.

What it does

Displays images of actors and asks users to vote them up or down. Once a user has voted on a certain number of images, the results are tallied and added to the overall rank.

How we built it

We built this with lots of effort, no sleep, and a lot of great music + song. This is mainly built in JavaScript, node.js, angular.js, and Express framework, with HTML5 and CSS to support it. The code was written entirely using the GitHub-created Atom IDE, and all members of the team kept the project clean and free of destructive merge conflicts using the GitHub desktop application and the git shell.

Challenges we ran into

Our original app ran into problems when we tried to use FireBase but were confused by the ongoing documentation migration. We plan to revisit our original idea at a later time once we have more experience with JavaScript.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Most of our team members had never coded in JavaScript and were mainly proficient in Python. The number of print() calls attempted in the first hour was astounding. However, we overcame this barrier and adapted our plans to match our developing skills.

What we learned

  • How to make a node.js web application
  • How to use the Express framework
  • How NoSQL databases work
  • How to host on Amazon Web Services

What's next for ActR

  • Connect to some form of API to grab images of actors from recent releases
  • Account creation + user uploaded images using FireBase
  • Connect Azure Machine Learning to predict if movies will be good or bad based on the cast
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