Several years ago, I found I was without local friends after a move to a different state. I was working from home and my children were both about to graduate. I wondered how one went about making friends, especially since I'm such an introvert. I tried going to a paint party, you know where they suggest you drink wine while someone stands in front of the room and walks you through the painting process. While I enjoyed that, I didn't really see a good opportunity to mingle. I looked at Facebook, but the interest groups have people spread across the whole world, so that wasn't helpful. I wracked my brain to think of something that would allow me to search for someone with similar interests that was local to my area. The only thing I could find was dating sites. They had all the requisites, with the exception of people generally expecting a relationship....or not.

What it does

The application, avaca-do, is essentially a friend finder. Especially for those people who find socializing to be hard, like me, it's an app that allows you to enter your interests, and search locally for people who have similar interests. Ideally, there will be geolocation so that users can select an area to search, this way people who travel can change their location. There would be a message system that allowed for contacting potential 'other halves' and setting up meets (presumably in a public safe space). Other Halves can be saved for future contacting and interests can be changed and added as the user sees fit.

How I built it

I watched a LOT of YouTube videos to learn how to create an app on Android Studio. While I have some working knowledge of Java from my programming class this semester, the other coding involved was completely foreign to me. I also received some help from one of the mentors who made a few suggestions that proved to be incredibly helpful.

Challenges I ran into

I have never created an app or used Android Studio before. Sometimes, trying to search what I was wanting to do proved to be incredibly frustrating. The app is still not fully functional, partly because to do that it would need to be set up to an online database to add users and populate data. It is also missing some functionality that I just was not able to resolve in the time constraints of the hackathon.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The app works! As stated above, it's not fully functional, but it is functional. There are several different screens that I worked hard to code and set up for demonstration purposes and I think the setup looks great!

What I learned

I learned a LOT about Android Studio and also that I have EVEN MORE more to learn about it! I was interested in app creation because I will be working on creating an app connected to a database for my current job and this was good practice for getting started with that.

What's next for avaca-do

Well, if I can learn more about what I need to make the app fully functional, maybe it will be the next great social platform!

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