We were thinking about how forums allow people to ask questions and how useful such tools were, however forums lack the personal and continued support we seek. Oftentimes, forum questions are left unanswered, or are generically answered. We decided to create a system for people to get immediate, personal help from others!
What it does
Our application allows users to call and message each other anonymously to give and receive help in any kind of skill they would like.
How I built it
A person seeking help finds a mentor through our app and clicks to call them. Our app first makes a connection between the two users in our MySQL database, and then calls our Twilio number, which hits our database to retrieve the mentor's phone number. On top of this, all numbers are masked by the Twilio number to preserve our users' privacy.
We used Twilio as an in-between application to accept the call which would be forwarded. It also works for the messaging portion, also masking the phone number for privacy's sake.
Challenges I ran into
It proved a challenge (firstly due to technical issues revolving around studio) We had to figure out a way to host a backend and connect to it while also hosting the twilio number. We also had to host an expandable database of categories and user information.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We managed to create the app that would connect to a backend server that would store information. On top of this, we managed to get a twilio server using Python Flask to handle incoming calls and messages if and only if there was an association defined in the backend server of the app.
What I learned
Chris: I learned how to use Twilio and interface with phones and messages. I also gained more insight on HTTP POSTs and GETs.
Samuel: I learned about Twilio and about creating backends using XAMPP with PHP and MySQL.
What's next for Better Together
Expansion of questions, categories, and design.