We entered this weekend without any experience in React Native, Firebase, and in hackathons as a whole. Yet, after 24 hours of relentless work — dotted with moments of failure and success (mostly failure) — we've come to realize the extent to which we've grown as developers, designers, innovators.
When we sat down to brainstorm at the beginning of the event, we immediately committed to solving a larger social or global problem. Instead of picking a specific social problem and developing a solution, we decided to harness an even greater power: our generation's "dedication" to social media but willingness to engage in building solutions to these problems that will ultimately plague our future.
And so, we decided: our generation already spends so much time on social media, so let's put some of that time to a community-benefiting use. With the large sum of users already invested in Snapchat, we decided it a worthy first target. We made it our goal to create an app that allows users to join communities based on their service interests and discover local events through which they can work to actively discuss or solve these problems. Parallel to our young user base, we realized that local businesses could provide their space and resources to support these local events. They'd be motivated to do so, as the increased traffic would benefit and help advertise their business.
We decided an app would serve the best presentation to users of our age, but a website presence would help include the older generations represented in our local business-owning population. Therefore, we opted with React Native because of its versatile deployment possibilities. While the idea of React Native was incredibly appealing, the reality presented a slew of immediate problems: nobody on our team had ever actually used React Native — or Firebase. Despite this monumental roadblock (which we maybe should have taken as a sign?), we persisted. With a team full of design-oriented creators, we pushed through development and created the app to the best of our ability, all while ensuring to dress our application in the best possible presentation.
The result? A beautiful app ready to be further developed. Today (or todays?) marked the beginning of our React Native development journey — and it will sure as not be the conclusion. With the skills we gained from the pressure of time and concentrated innovative environment, our experiences day will without a doubt "ripl" into an effort to fulfill the purpose of our project.