Inspiration

When I was working as an intern for a drone company this past summer, kept noticing that it's a lot harder to find answers for hardware problems than software. With a software issue you can google it up and within 4 results you have your answer, but with software you could be searching for days and find nothing because your project is really niche

What it does

Connects people who need help on projects to people who have experience in that field so they can meet up and get real 1-on-1 direction rather than just potential solutions on an online forum from someone halfway across the world

How I built it

Having used heroku before, I built the backend using flask and heroku to host with an sqlite3 database connected to a postgresql plugin on the heroku site. Since I had limited columns and rows, a lot of the effort was put on the frontend and making it so that I could store multiple user or project data points within one row, which is why leaflet and mailgun were also used

Challenges I ran into

Building the notification feature. When users are alerted to a project they may be able to help with, they need to be able to immidiately see it rather than leaving the person waiting for days(one of the biggest issues of stack overflow). So i built a 2-stage notification system where the user recieves an email through mailgun and a text message through twilio, both of which required extensive backend work to configure and cost me several other features I wanted to implement.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Building my first decent looking website. I've built several websites in the past ranging from mediocre to downright awful. But using bootstrap themes as well as css code borrowed from creative tim, I was able to build a mostly responsive site where a mobile user is almost as capable on the site as a pc user. Design's always been my weakest link and using the resources provided I was able to really step out of my comfort zone

What I learned

That you don't need to rely on other people. I went into this event with the intention of working alone because at past hackathons, I probably wouldn't have won or even submitted without my teammates. But here everything was on me: the backend, the UX, even the display text. I learned more this hackathon than I had at any previous and it taught me a lot about being self sufficient and how you can't count on others forever, because one day you're going to have to face it all yourself.

What's next for collabora8e

Bringing it to more people. Since this is an issue that I know inside and out and that I face a lot, I'd be sad to let a perfectly good solution go to waste. Over the years, I've acquired a lot of contacts as schools such as UofT and Ryerson and my first step would be making sure that this problem is bigger than just me, something I'm already decently sure of.

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