We found that documenting hackathons outside of GitHub was very tough, and it was easy to forget to note down some of the more sentimental things that happened. Initially, we planned on using Alexa to note down milestones and events, but as this later became less of an option, APIs were suggested to us.
What it does
It acts to help hackathon attendees document tweets, commits, and milestones, and presents these in a final summary table.
How we built it
We built the frontend using core HTML initially, neglecting to style the website until core functionality was in place. We also endeavoured to implement the Twitter and GitHub APIs. We allowed users to store what they wanted to document in MongoDB, and endeavoured to parse Twitter and GitHub data into this database too.
Challenges we ran into
Making sense of both the Twitter API and GitHub API were a challenge. Parsing the Twitter data was also a nightmare! We had no previous experience using these APIs. Interfacing between PHP and HTML proved a challenge, since the website was very heavy on both reading and writing database data.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of making the APIs work and integrating all our work together! We believe that with a quick and easy setup, this could be a tool that we all use during hackathons.
What we learned
We learned about new APIs, building forms, and using databases. In particular, Simon began to understand PHP, and while Darren had experience in this before, he learned about the most effective ways to use database data in a website.
What's next for Hacker Tracker
Integrate more APIs into Hacker Tracker to make it a stronger platform for many people use it as a platform to document their previous hackathons! It also has social network potential.