Have you ever found yourself at a networking event without business cards? Or arrived at a hackathon to realize you might be the only woman in the room? Firm Fatale solves both of these problems with a web app that simplifies the networking experience for women by allowing you to find other women at the event and connect on LinkedIn through a virtual business card right in the app.
What it does
While at an event, you open the web app and are given two options, "Find-a-Femme" or "Card Share". Clicking the respective button brings you to a new webpage.
Find-a-Femme displays a Google map via the Google Maps API. If you select "Allow" on the permissions prompt, you can share your location as a pin on the app and see pins from other women at the event on the map to faciliate a meet-up.
Card Share prompts you to sign-in with LinkedIn, which used the LinkedIn API's OAuth2 secure authentification process to pull basic profile information into a virtual business card which you can share with other women through the app.
How we built it
The app is chiefly built using a combination of Node.js and React with the help of some popular APIs.
Node.js provided back-end server support. A combination of React, Bootstrap, and Material UI was used to create a beautiful, responsive user interface on the front-end with rich content pulled from the LinkedIn and Google Maps APIs.
Challenges we ran into
One goal of the team was to build an app from scratch with Node.js for the first time so, naturally, the implementation was tricky to put together with all the pieces passing data between the client, server, and API service providers. Most of our team members had never used Git with a group of people before, either, so halfway through we had to create a new repository.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Most of us were either vaguely familiar with or completely new to the tools we used on this project. So building something we could test was a major accomplishment, even if not all features work flawlessly.
What we learned
Besides the specific tools implemented in our code, we also learned some valuable hackathon skills: properly collaborating in Git using branches, building a complicated code base for a web app, and learning how to break down project tasks and solve problems as a team.
What's next for Firm Fatale
One of our members has been working to learn Node.js, so she plans to expand the code base for better stability and overall functionality. This includes making more efficient use of the APIs and implementing additional features such as requesting to meet up directly through the map pins, smartphone camera scanning of the business cards to connect more seamlessly, and the ability to store a library of other members' business cards on your own account where you can add notes about how you met, what you chatted about, future plans to work together, and a chat to meet-up or ask for help.