Inspiration

When compared to the warmth of small high school classes, entering a 600 student college auditorium for the first time can be quite intimidating. Getting notes after missing a lecture or simply brainstorming about a new assignment shouldn't be a hassle, but school discussion forums are often implemented as afterthoughts so students resort to social media for discussions. Set aside the huge chunk of students who end up not being added to groups, unaware of their existence, having to go through social media imposes potential distraction and makes work overall less efficient.

What it does

CourseTalk connects students of a given university with courses in common by automatically adding them to group conversations, restricted to said course. This creates a space where everyone is comfortable to ask their questions, brainstorm, share lecture notes or even arrange real-life study groups, all distraction-free.

How we built it

We built this web application using React.js for the front-end and the ChatKit API for the back-end. We used Heroku to host.

Challenges we ran into

We created the app using two instances of Node.js on two different ports, which worked fine on our localhost server. However, this requires two different ports, which was a problem when uploading the application to the hosting platform. So we had to completely rework the code with webpack, which eventually got the app working on a single port (using Heroku).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This was the first hackathon for all three of us and we had no prior experience with JavaScript, so we're super proud we got a chat app working!

What we learned

Web development is difficult and consequently rewarding!

What's next for CourseTalk

Figuring out a database system to store students' information so they can be automatically added to the courses they're enrolled in.

Built With

  • awake-chocolates
  • blood
  • chatkit
  • github
  • heroku
  • react-js
  • sweat
  • tears
  • travel-subsidies
  • webpack
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