We love travelling, and we also love tech conferences, but on the other hand, we're also students with not much money! To try and solve this problem, we created Confly.
What it does
Using the Skyscanner api, Confly takes your starting location and a budget and generates a list of conferences you could attend, along with the total cost of attending them (tickets + flights).
How we built it
We used a Node.js backend to make requests to the Skyscanner price lookup api. It first uses the cached results api (which is faster), but if no flights are found it falls back to the live quote api. It then orders the conferences by priority (currently set by us) and tries to fit as many as possible into the budget. The frontend was developed using the Jade templating engine (never again) and Sass (♥).
Challenges we ran into
The Skyscanner api was a little overwhelming at first, but now that we've used it a bit we actually quite like it. Another issue is that we're both quite lazy and like sleeping a lot. So what would have been a 36 hour hackathon was more like a 12 hour hackathon in the end!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The hack works! (mostly)
What we learned
We had never used Jade, and now we know not to. Also the Skyscanner api!
What's next for Confly
We want to increase the number of conferences in our catalog and fix some of the issues with the backend. We'd also like to think about expanding our scope to include hotel prices also (as this is obviously a concern with conferences).