We had many big ideas at the beginning of the event, such as a machine-learning based cheat detector for first person fighting game, a educational rpg game centered on water conservation, and a music rhythm game. Considering the knowledge possessed by our teammates (react + java), we finally chose to build a web-based chat app - a lightweight, snapchat-like app.

What it does

It is literally the web version of SnapChat (chat function only). You can log into your account and send messages to your friends on web (saving messages is unsupported currently).

How I built it

The front-end is purely written and debugged in Visual Code without any IDE.

Front-end: Bootstrap + jQuery + WebSocket + React Back-end: Java + SparkJava (for RESTful API) + MongoDB

Challenges I ran into

First we are confused on which technology we should use to receive login requests and chat messages from clients. Eventually we decided to

  • use SparkJava to build web service with RESTful APIs
  • use jQuery to send asynchronous POST requests to the API
  • use WebSocket to push messages from friends to the client

Three of us have zero front-end development experience, so we spend extra time learning how React framework, Javascript, Bootstrap, and jQuery works.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We finally made a functional login screen & part of chat screen. And we became good friends!

What I learned

Intro use of all technologies above.

What's next for BoilerChat

Maybe some kind of machine-learning related projects.

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