At my house, a couple phrases are sure to be uttered throughout the day: “Did someone let the dog out this morning?” or “Did someone feed the dog her dinner?” Our dog, Joy, has accidentally been fed twice many times because of miscommunication between us, her caretakers. This very common problem for pet owners inspired me to develop DogLog, an app that aims to close the communication gap for families with pets.
What it does
To begin using Doglog, you create a “pack”, which includes all the people who provide care to your pet. Then, any member of the pack can log events, such as feedings, walks, and giving medicine. When an event is logged, all members of the pack receive a notification so they stay informed about the dog’s wellbeing. Users end up being able to see their pet’s entire life in DogLog’s feed, and then can use the Statistics feature to notice patterns and correlations between different activities.
How I built it
I built this app in my free time over the last school quarter using Swift 3 and Firebase. I had barely any experience with iOS app development in the past (I have one game on the app store), but thanks to A LOT of googling and the wonderful help of the people on Stack Overflow, I slowly chipped away at each problem that arose.
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenge I ran into is balancing schoolwork, working on DogLog, and the other extracurriculars I'm part of, such as volunteering and playing piano. On a technical level, making sure the UI and UX was user-friendly was challenging for me as a developer. Thanks to the help of my sister, as well as getting other people's advice, the app ended up looking nice and is easy to use.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm really proud that I was able to take an idea that was in my head and turn it into something real. This ability to take an idea and manifest it into the real world is the reason I fell in love with coding. I think being able to code gives people massive power and I'm glad I was able to use my abilities to create something that can help others.
What I learned
Creating this app taught me many things. Most importantly, I learned that everything ends up being more complicated than you initially anticipated. There were countless problems that arose while I was developing this app that I thought would be no-brainers to implement. However, your attitude when something doesn't go as planned is what defines your success at the end of the day. With patience and perseverance (and a lot of Googling!), there is almost nothing stopping you from solving any problem you have.
What's next for DogLog
Android version! I started publicizing this app this week right after I launched it and a ton of people have asked me to port it to Android. Also, there are countless improvements and features which I have planned such as reminders (example: Give the dog medicine tomorrow), socializing the app (Facebook sharing), and GPS tracking for walks