Inspiration

In high school, we both ran cross country, but there were always communications issues amongst the runners and the coaches. Online communication was practically nonexistent, only made available available through complicated and sporadic email chains. We wanted to find a solution to this significant issue and we believe Blue Jay is just that.

What it does

Blue Jay allows a coach and his players to easily keep up with match updates, important information, and more. It provides a new level of interaction, which is much simpler to keep track of than a long chain of emails about an upcoming game, and allows for quick updates and optional notifications to remind players of schedule and location changes. It includes many different customizations for events, including snack assignments, jersey colors, weather updates, and more, which allow coaches to focus more on what they're best at: coaching!

How I built it

There are several parts to our app. The front-end was created using the Ionic framework, which allows us to write it in one language, and compile it into many different platforms, such as iOS and Android. We started the design process with Photoshop, and then brought it to life using html and css. The back-end was programmed in Java, taking advantage of Apache Tomcat and MySQL to store information. JavaScript was used to connect the design and server, finally bringing our project to life.

Challenges I ran into

Setting aside the hundreds of Errors and Warnings we encountered while creating this app, there were larger, more difficult hurdles to pass. One of our biggest issues was creating the web service that is used throughout the app. While having experience with Java before this project, we had no idea what Tomcat was, and how to use it. Thankfully, it was easy to grasp a basic understanding of it and learn as we went along. However, debugging this was the most difficult part, as again, we were only just learning about it and how to use it, so we were unsure of what to do when we encountered difficulties. Thankfully, we motivated each other to push through and keep working on it, until we were happy with our results.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Throughout the app's evolution we've gained an insight into software development and engineering. We treated this as a large project in which large chunks of labor production were split to be handled one at a time. We are very proud of the amount of work that is being completed under 24 hours and have seen a significant increase in our ability to code effortlessly when building something that is entirely our creation.

What I learned

During this process, I learned a lot about the development process that app developers go through, from planning to creation, and about many frameworks and tools to use in the future, such as Ionic, Cordova, MySQL, and Tomcat. We also learned how to work in a development environment as a team, as before this project we did not program together on projects like this.An app like this will help us in the future career world and will allow each of us to come out ahead of the competition thanks to the experience we've gained.

What's next for Blue Jay

Lower division sports are an untapped market for team organization. We plan to introduce Blue Jay as the efficient and effective way for teams to plan out their practices, meetups, tournaments, and celebrations.

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