Working with others has been made easy by the internet. Collaboration is now easy for text documents using software such as Google Suite and Microsoft Suite, but there are many improvements to be made when it comes to collaboration in anything other than text documents, such as coding. Currently, not many major IDEs support multiple users working on a singular project at the same time, making it more difficult for remote teams to work together, since they have to tell each other what they do during meetings rather than while creating a program, which slows down communication and productivity. This problem drove us to create a solution that is accessible, user-friendly, and highly responsive, all while promoting seamless collaboration from anywhere in the world. The goal is simple: Create a platform that would allow teams to brainstorm concepts, and code with each other in real-time to maximized productivity and teamwork.
🤔What it does🤔
Online collaborative whiteboard tool that enables multiple users to add and edit elements, including text, images, and freeform drawings in real-time. It is a simple, intuitive user-friendly platform with seamless collaboration, whether you're working with a team or solo.
🧠How we built it🧠
- Brainstormed ideas, using an online collaborative whiteboard (https://webwhiteboard.com), then we realized that it was missing some features such as proper exporting, and it also had limited accessibility.
- Brainstormed name and logo ideas, designed the icon and logo.
- Created the app:
- Used JS for most of the actual program, html and CSS for display.
💪Challenges we ran into💪
- Code not syncing properly/delayed
- Creating fast and effective collaboration feature for freeform drawing
- Buggy script crashing, during development
- Hosting the web app (lots of backend issues)
🏆Accomplishments that we're proud of🏆
Primarily, we are very proud of having created this web app from scratch in the given time frame of only 60 hours. We found that we are very good at collaborating and communicating with each other, getting all the necessary work done as fast as possible while keeping a high standard of quality in the work.
Although there are already other collaborative whiteboard websites, there are no real-time collaborative programming websites. There are programs out there that do have real-time collaborative programming, such as JetBrains: Space, but those are typically very expensive and only use by larger companies that can afford the price. The point of DevLink is to have most or all the same features and more with no setbacks whatsoever. No subscription, no account, and full access to all the tools. We are proud that we were able to create such a project that is able to match the same features and a bit more than professional software which requires payment.
We take pride in the required technical skill that we had and used in order to create this project. We faced some challenges and had to learn a bit along the way, particularly in backend troubleshooting, but by putting these old and new skills to use, we made a successful project. We believe that through the creation of this project, we have shown our proficiency in web development.
🎓What we learned🎓
Throughout the process of creating DevLink , we learned several crucial lessons:
- No matter how good you think you are, you always have something to learn. We thought this project would be simple and straightforward, but we were quickly humbled by the amount of bugs during development.
- Even though we already had decent synergy and collaboration skills, looking back, the amount of collaboration and delegation we had is astounding to us. This reinforced the idea that collaboration and communication are key when working in any team, which are also the key focuses of DevLink .
- The value of a user-centered approach - like Apple's product development, we tried to start from the user's experience and work backward to give users the best time. This proved to be a lot more effective in creating a better overall feel to the final product than trying to engineer the idea before adding emphasis on User Interaction features.
🔜What's next for DevLink ?🔜
Although we like what we have, we can always improve. In the near future, DevLink will have:
- Chat feature
- Different editor modes (spectator, suggestions-only, restricted-code editor)
- Mobile applications
- and much more...
Overall, developing DevLink was a wonderful and enlightening experience, and we hope to take part in another LyonHacks event! Thank you for reading through this project's description. Try it out yourself with the files linked in github below!