Inspiration

Looking at the meeting place of the Ancient Greeks, the agora, it's easy to see the value of congregation and community. Traditionally, the agora was a place to socialize, trade, and form bonds with one's neighbors. We sought to foster these same activities and values within our college communities by creating an application to allow students to organize groups and clubs, as well as engage in commerce: trading books and supplies. With this a culture of community and inclusiveness will be further fostered in our academic institutions.

What it does

Our application allows the users to search events and items that they would like to by exclusively from other college students from their campuses. The users can request to contact sellers about their products and the seller will be notified through SMS via the Twilio API. If the item the user is searching for does not yet exist in the system, they will be placed on a wishlist so that if the item is posted in the future, they will be notified via text. The sellers can list postings of items they want to sell.

How we built it

We built the application using Node.js with Express for the backend. We also used mySQL for the database. We built the front end using React-Native. We also used the Twilio SMS API to notify users of updates.

Challenges we ran into

We had a large amount of difficulty securing a means of capturing and storing images for our users to use in their posts. After many hours of research, we were able to integrate camera usage into our application. Similarly, with limited experience with SQL, we struggled to effectively use the database software in the beginning, however with patience and experimentation we were able to master it. Lastly, integrating an API that was brand new to us was uncharted territory. However, with generous amounts of communication and investigation, we were able to seamlessly integrate it into our application.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Considering we are pretty new to javascript and its numerous packages for creating web apps, we believe that we have gained enough knowledge in web development to allow us to continue using these technologies. We are especially proud of how much we all have learned even though we came in with limited experience.

What we learned

We learned a lot about web application development. We used React-Native to develop the front end, and we used Node.js for the back end. We also used mySQL for the database. In addition to that we implemented the Twilio SMS API to send text notifications to users.We made great strides in the seamless integration of several technologies into one application. We also came to better understand what features and attributes are paramount for a useful application.

What's next for AgoraEdu

We want to continue to develop the project so that eventually it will become used throughout all college campuses as a means to buy and sell, and receive notifications about events on campus. We would also like to make improvements to the general user experience to seamlessly integrate it into every day college life.

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