Hi! Our names are Vembu and Prithika. We are two Management Engineering students at the University of Waterloo. With everything happening in the world today, we found that a problem that personally impacted us as students at University is the inability to meet and interact with other classmates. Especially in the students that started school this year, this issue is even more pressing, with many of them feeling like they are missing out on the university experience. With a completely online learning experience, it can be really hard to find friends or BUDDIES in your classes, or even people to study with. This leads to students missing out on a pivotal part of university: a study buddy.

What it does

Our application, Study Buddy, solves that problem by mimicking that very experience for students. Students can sign up with their university email ids to find a study buddy who’s currently studying the same subject. After picking their subject, Study Buddy matches them with another user who is also studying the same subject. Once they are matched, our users can choose to join a call and embark on an exciting learning journey! After their call, users also have the opportunity to hop on another call or they can choose to log out and come back another time! This is a great way for students to not only connect with other students in similar programs but is also a great way to find a study buddy!

How we built it

We used React as our frontend and Firebase to dynamically store users' data and handle user authentication/authorization. Additionally, we also used the Tokbox/Vonage API to connect users to sessions and these sessions were generated using a Heroku server.

Challenges and Accomplishments

Since this is our first virtual hackathon experience, we had initial connectivity issues and had trouble figuring out to collaborate efficiently. This is also our first time using Firebase and video call services and hence, it was a steep learning curve. However, we were able to quickly pick up these skills and create a project we are very proud of! We are also very proud of how quickly we were able to integrate these new technologies with our project and deliver something in time for the demo.

What we learned

Some of the biggest takeaways from this event are the technical skills we gained along the process, how to manage our time effectively during a virtual hackathon, and the importance of helping people stay connected during these trying times.

What's next for you

This has just fuelled our desire to attend more hackathons and potentially meet other individuals with the same passions as us. Seeing what we were able to learn and accomplish this weekend, we have realized that the sky is our limit and we intend to keep pushing and learning more about technology.

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