Our inspiration was to connect individuals who prepare their weekly meals ahead of time - nobody likes eating the same meal seven days in a row. We wanted to create a technology that would enable people to connect with other like-minded individuals to create diversity in their weekly meals, meet people within their community and try something new!
What it does
CookSwap is an app that allows the user to find other meal preppers in the area and swap meals. The app allows users to create a profile detailing their food preferences, and geographic region. The user can then find a nearby swap, or plan one themselves. Each user brings their own Tupperware to exchange with their swap partner or group--like a drive-by potluck. This app would be great for the busy developer who doesn’t have time to make food, the parent who wants their kids to experience different cuisines or the student who is on a budget and not wanting to waste money on food delivery.
How we built it
A Figma prototype was created first in order to work out the details and direction we wanted to go. We went through a few iterations of the design at this stage. Then, after some experimentation between Meteor and Express/Node, we settled on going with an Express/Node implementation.
Challenges we ran into
This was definitely a learning process for all of us. Going in, three of us had never seen these technologies before, and one only had limited exposure, so almost all of the components were largely new worlds for us to explore. One challenge we encountered was getting our server to connect with React so that we could pull from a database, or add to the database when users input information. This proved to be more of a challenge than we expected, and the information out there about this topic was difficult to follow and mostly didn't account for different program structures. Also, the software we used to design our app did not allow for easy export of HTML, which led to issues with implementing our design.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Turning a stressful time into something really fun. Learning to love the process from idea to full design and partial implementation. Also, seeing our dreams become a terrible-looking version of our dreams.
What we learned
We all learned about the necessity of collaboration. Executing on the same code base can be difficult for amateur developers. In addition, some of us learned about frameworks we have only seen in tutorials. Surprisingly, we learned that even after several hours of intensive work and endless bugs, we can all still make each other laugh.
What's next for CookSwap
CookSwap has a long way to go. First, we have to really iron out the transfer of information from a user to the database. This proved more challenging than youtube videos let on. We also need to modernize the front-end design to appeal to audiences who are not still using Windows 95. The bones are good.