Carlos: "One day I was helping set up tables at my school while trying to come up with an idea for TAMUHack. Then it hit me, 'Why not make a centralized platform to connect people who want to partner with organizations that need volunteers?'"
What it does
Good Samaritan plots points where users can volunteer at service events, and it provides information about the event and organizer.
How we built it
Carlos: "I was in charge of creating the backend API for accessing the event and organization information. I used Golang to write the application, MariaDB to store the data, and Amazon EC2 to host the application."
Ben: "I was in charge of creating the front-end that accessed the data from Carlos' API and using esri's arcGIS Android SDK to plot that data on a map. I used Android Studio and a few third party libraries, like Volley, to complete the bulk of the front-end development."
Challenges we ran into
General lack of front end development experience.
Ben: "This was my first serious attempt at developing an Android application in Android Studio. I had never used the arcGIS Android SDK or fetched and parsed JSON files from a server, so it was a challenge; however, I learned a lot."
Carlos: "I don't have experience with SQL databases, so it took a while to get the one we needed set up. It also took my some time to migrate the project to amazon EC2 when we realized Android SDK cannot process IP addresses to access APIs. I tried to implement a geocoding function to automatically determine the latitude and longitude of an event, but I failed miserably."
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Carlos: "I'm proud to have set up the backend API quickly and in a relatively efficient manner in a language I am not very familiar with."
Ben: "I'm proud of all things I did for the first time at TAMUHack: parsing JSON files, working with arcGIS Android SDK, and developing a (mostly) fully featured android app."
What we learned
Carlos: "I learned a lot about Golang and MariaDB. I also learned about RESTful API, although the API I wrote was not true REST."
Ben: "I learned how much I still don't know about front-end Android development, but I improved my skills every hour during TAMUHACK."
What's next for Good Samaritan
Good Samaritan is currently in a proof-of-concept/demo phase. We would like to make it more complete and improve the UI/UX.