During each hackathon, in our rush to build a working project, we learn so much. Sometimes, these are small tidbits of information that's too small or trivial to blog about. It could be anything, from something as trivial to bypassing cors, or aligning an element with css. Whatever the case, this thing that you spent some time googling is worth sharing with the hackers of the world. Platforms like StackOverflow encourage you to ask about something you got wrong. We're looking to reverse this trend, let's share what we got right instead.
What it does
Hack it, Share it! is a cross-platform app (yes, you can use it on Android, iOS and the web) that lets you share anything that other hackers might find helpful. It's a simple experience, no signup required. All you do is type in your hack and give it a title. All shared hacks can be seen via a world map with pins showing you from where the hack was submitted.
How we built it
The app was built using flutter in order to have that cross platform experience. We used the google maps sdk to show the world map with the pins, and further integrated the app with Google's Firebase to store hacks and related info on Cloud Firestore.
Challenges I ran into
This is the first time we're using Flutter, so it was an interesting journey. A hitch I faced in the beginning was actually getting flutter installed on my machine. Finally got it to work after I switched to openjdk8. Getting markers to show up on the map was also a challenge, mainly because the API had recently changed and we could only find old code on the web.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This is the first time we used flutter to create an actual app. It was a pretty wow moment when we finally got the app to work. Almost all technologies that we used (Dart/Flutter, Google Maps SDK, Firebase/Firestore) were completely new to us, and it was really great how we got everything to finally work out.
What we learned
This hackathon, being shorter than the usual 48 hours, taught us a great deal on how to manage our time properly. It's always a scramble for time at the end, and with each passing hackathon, I'm glad to report that we are slowly improving.
What's next for Hack it, Share it!
At the moment, there isn't a way for hacks to be searched for. In the future, I plan to allow adding tags to submitted hacks. Maybe a search feature would also do all the hacks some justice.
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