As university students, we want to take the least amount of time to finish our degree so that we can enter the industry. However, we also wish to learn more through taking units that align with our passions.
As with all units, prerequisites must be met and the pre-planning of our entire degree ensues. But here comes the question… What if we had a website that did it for us?
What it does
Dropkick asks for a single unit code and then returns an easy visual dependency graph of all needed units and their dependencies.
How we built it
As a team, we decided to split into two different teams, front end and back end.
Front End describes the GUI that greets the user as they use our website. In order to meet the MVP, the front end had to show the unit dependencies on the screen. Through using React, the visual colour palette was easily chosen.
Back End included the server and database. By using Django, which has an inbuilt database, we were able to easily scrape the University website for units and their dependencies to then pass through with the use of templates and rendering to serve the necessary pages to the user.
Challenges we ran into
We faced some challenges when trying to scrape websites for information when creating the algorithm due to the different formats that were on each department's page. This made trying to make a recursive decent parser really different.
We also had trouble creating a nice way to visualise the data retrieved due to interdependencies of units.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Be able to work effectively as a team in order to think up of an original idea that no one has thought up of before. This project would be able to help all students going into university (to decide which course they want to do and thus which university they want to go to), as well as the students currently still studying their degrees.
What we learned
We learnt how to use a lot of new visualisation techniques and how to work as a team effectively in order to create a MVP that can influence and benefit the lives of all students thinking of pursuing a degree in university.