Inspiration

We wanted to build a quick way for students to contact tutors who specialized in specific subjects or classes. While designing a flow, we realized that such an interaction can be boiled down to a simple message subscription model. We wanted to build a tutoring app without the hassle of creating accounts or finding tutors.

What it does

AskMS allows users to send text message questions to community experts. Communities are generated in house and can range from classes, to organization, to anything in between. Users can also sign up to join a community expert group to answer questions as well.

How we built it

The core of our platform uses Twilio APIs to route messages between users and experts. The backend routing server is hosted on the Google Cloud Platform's App Engine. Our frontend landing page uses Firebase Web Hosting. While Firebase Realtime Database stores data related to experts and contacts, the question and answer data is stored in Algolia for fast lookup and search.

Challenges we ran into

We had never used the Twilio API before but it was a breeze to take on.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of being able to incorporate so many sponsor APIs while submitting a complete and finished package.

What we learned

Twilio Algolia Firebase Web Hosting Not to expose GCP keys publicly on Github (our first attempt at the project was suspended T_T)

What's next for AskMS

From MMS integration, crypto-incentives, and automatic community generation, we will look to implement many features to make AskMS more powerful.

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