My inspiration for Bridge came from the lack of platforms that allow students specifically from various institutions to work together and meet liked-minded individuals. Even more, with the pandemic it became that much more difficult to meet other people or ask for help from a friend. The goal of Bridge is to create an all in one platform that can be used across institutions to connect students as well as allow for a better way to study and organize student workloads.

What it does

Currently, Bridge acts similar to Reddit. You can create "Communities" that users can join and start posting questions that they may have. Each community is related to a certain topic and all questions should relate to that topic. Students can also like posts and reply to other students. In terms of networking, students can search for other users and follow them in order to start building connections. Users can also search for new communities that they may want to be a part of.

How we built it

This web application was built mostly using different Javascript libraries. The most significant libraries used were express, mongoose, handlebars, and sessions. For the frontend, a mix of custom css and also materialize was used. All the user authentication was completing using express-sessions and passport local strategy.

Challenges we ran into

A lot of the challenges came from different MongoDB queries. I am quite new to working with NoSQL databases and ran into a lot of problems when it came to making more complex queries relating to Users and Posts. Similarly, I have not worked with Materialize CSS too much so there was a good amount of learning that had to be done before I could start designing the website.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I am super proud that this is my first full stack application. I usually create small applications when I am learning and they have never been a full stack application. I am happy that I got to experience building a bigger application and see how all the parts seem to work together to produce the final product.

What we learned

I learned a lot about the full stack development process. In particular, I understood how the backend can interact with the handlebar templates in order to execute server-side rendering before pushing to the client. Also getting more familiar with MongoDB as well as how web sessions work in order to keep a user logged in were both very interesting topics to learn more about.

What's next for Bridge

Next steps for bridge are to create an instant messaging component using websockets in order to allow direct communication between users. Another feature is making a dashboard where a user can see all their todo tasks, messages, productivity, etc. This will improve the look of the website as well as implement some new functionality.

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