As Benton Engineering Council (BEC) Representative at the University of Florida, I spend a lot of time evaluating the budget allocated to us by BEC and Student Government (SG). I realized that, with the amount of time I spend logging on to the different websites that hold all the data, I could save my self a little bit of time by developing an app that was similar in form and function as the websites I visit, but much more convenient and user-friendly. I brought this up to a friend of mine back at the university and we came up with the idea for Cash-Me-Ousside. Unfortunately, he couldn't be at HackFSU to help me develop it, but the idea lives on!
What it does
At the moment it's a very simple terminal-based application that allows users to set up budgets by selecting how many different line items they plan on having, and how they would like to allocate funding to each one (based on percentage out of 100). It further allows users to input specific values into their accounts, which get distributed based on the proportions established by the user. The user can, at any time in the menu, alter their budget settings and change what percent of their funds should be allocated to which line item. Finally, they are able to remove money from each line item, should they end up spending money on something that falls into a particular category.
How I built it
Nothing fancy here. Just an old-fashioned text editor (okay, I used Atom but it still counts). I developed this application using python and a text file.
Challenges I ran into
I've never coded in python before. I've always been told that if you know (insert miscellaneous language here), you know python. It turned out to be a little tougher than I thought to get used to all the syntax differences and rules python establishes. I spent a lot of time just understanding how things interact with each other in python and how to integrate all my ideas properly.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I was able to develop the entirety of the backend of this application by myself. I had friends working on a GUI but it wasn't in working order. I'm still very proud that I was able to finally create something at a Hackathon that could be meaningful in the future if I continue to work on it, and that I created something in general!
What I learned
Well, I learned python! It also turns out that a lot can get done in just 30 hours if you really sit down and get working. I would say the most valuable lesson I learned from HackFSU is that any project is a good project as long as you have fun with it and are passionate about what you're submitting. Even if it's just a little baby terminal-app!
What's next for Cash-Me-Ousside
This app was designed with student organizations in mind, and that goal is still in sight. I plan to continue developing this app in the future and scaling it to a web and mobile application so that other students like me who are involved heavily in student organizations can more easily refer to their budgets and see the immediate effects of spending money as an organization.