Our team consists of all seniors in college so we've all been around TAs for years as well as become good friends with many of them. This has given us a bit of a keen insight into knowing what would make a real difference to them.
What it does
BigThoughts is a system to give TAs a better way of interacting with students as well as free them from answering questions that require trivial answers. Students text questions that they have on their phones and these questions get loaded into a queue for the TA to answer whenever they clock-in for office hours. The TA's interact with a intuitive web interface to answer questions and help students in their classes while the students get to ask for help in the most informal and relaxing way possible, texting. This highly extensive system allows for the ability to config automated messages for example when the TA isn't on their office hours or a student asks something simple like when a test/quiz is.
How we built it
Our efficient and robust backend is written using python's flask framework inside a docker container apart of a kubernetes cluster, hosted on Google Cloud. The frontend is a vuejs application running along side the backend on kuberneters on Google Cloud.
Challenges we ran into
A major challenge we ran into was making sure the web application stayed in real time. Because we wanted this feature bad enough, we had to integrate both a REST API and use websockets. This feature caused us to completely scrap the backend end we were using hours before the deadline.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I would say a major thing we're proud of is using technology we didn't have experience with. No one in our group had used vuejs before and rarely ever touched frontend dev to begin with. Nevertheless, we made a vuejs frontend that all of us were proud of. We also just over all built a huge application together overcoming a lot of hurdles that made everyone a better developer in the end.