We saw a need in our local communities to share happenings and events with each other. Oftentimes someone in our community will go through something exciting or scary... and they end up going through it alone. We wanted to help change that by giving everyone a platform to share their events with their community.
What it does
Rally helps users pin events on their community map. Any user in that area can then see those events and even share their own thoughts on those events. Whether it's the next block party or charity event, Rally can help you participate with or in your community.
How we built it
We made use of Docker to make deployment and testing easy, especially for making sure our Postgres and Node.js instances worked together nicely. We receive data from the user through express.js and push it to Postgres through Knex.js. We display events on Leaflet.js maps with Mapbox styling, and other data is retrieved by the clients through AJAX queries. The system is hosted on DigitalOcean, due to time constraints, although some profile pictures are located in an AWS S3 bucket.
Challenges we ran into
None of us really knew much about the web stack. Also, we added geolocation features that were fairly important to the application, but our hosting is done over HTTP, and web browsers refuse to pass locations over HTTP.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of our incredibly fast turnaround and code testing. Code could be pushed from any one of our computers directly to the external server and run in production in less than a minute, by any one of us. Without our fast iteration, we would never have gotten so far.
We're also proud of building a fairly functional prototype of a social network, as web dev novices, in just over 24 hours.
What we learned
We had a number of great ideas, one of which we became really invested in. We realized a ways into the development of the great idea that someone else had already made it. We lost quite a bit of time on this misadventure... so we learned to do our homework before getting invested in an idea.
What's next for Rally
Rally's an MIT-licensed Open Source project, so anyone can pick up where we left off. We'll be evaluating deployment in or around our own campuses, but we'd love for other people to help us lead the charge.