Students have to be economical with money, they don’t have too much time to spare and can’t wait too long to sell trivial items, and they also have lots of leftover items, textbooks, class materials that other students would want and therefore there is a need for an efficient bartering platform.
What it does
Our solution would be a fully functioning bartering platform that carries out the transaction from both trading parties, and would allow us to organize trades into categories: for eg. a category that specifically is academically focused, another for electronics etc., and our platform would also support offering and requesting services that no product successfully does for college students right now.
How we built it
We started off by making a solid business model and identifying customers and why they would use this product. After that constructed the design on the individual pages. Having outlined the design we moved forward with implementing it using React.js. We used the MongoDB Express React Node (MERN) stack to develop our front end and back end website. We modelled out our schema onto MongoDB and then tested API. Finally we brought it all together by adding meaningful purpose to our requested data.
Challenges we ran into
Getting started and learning technologies was among the biggest and earliest challenges that we faced. We are all college students enrolled with full course-loads so finding time to learn all these tools was somewhat difficult. However our team is very eager to learn and pick up new concepts and ideas to push the boundaries of production quality and this motivated us to overcome these initial challenges.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The biggest accomplishment that we're proud of is the fact that we remained committed to this project even after the situation seemed bleak, we managed to find a solution and actively move forward. We are also proud of our capability of scaling the steep learning of these new technologies and being able to manipulate them for our needs.
What we learned
In terms of concrete technologies, we learned how to render multiple MongoDB collections on the same server and then call that API from the client side code. We learned how to develop sophisticated data modelling and schemas and we gained a lot of experience with the latest web technologies. On the intangible side however we learned to not limit ourselves and to not let anything come in our path from achieving our final goal. We also gained more ownership of our idea after having committed all this time and effort towards creating CampusBarter.
What's next for CampusBarter
We have big plans! We want to make this a website that students at UCSC and even at other colleges will use. We want this to have a genuine presence and for this to become almost a way of for students where they can easily and seamlessly trade and sell any goods and services between fellow friends and colleagues. Ultimately we want to move forward towards bridging the gap between social presence and e-commerce.