As incoming interns for the summer of 2021, we realized how much the ongoing pandemic has changed our lives. Internships are about learning and immersing yourself in the culture of the company that has hired you. We figured that there should be a platform that allows interns to find shared housing in another city or state as well as COVID-19 safety regulations which are enforced. If such a platform were to exist. Students and interns could easily book summer housing for the duration of their internship and be able to experience the thrill of being in another location.

What it does

The platform we created has 2 main concepts.

  1. It allows a home owner to put up their property up for rent during a seasonal high demand time.
  2. Students and interns will be able to meet new friends with common interests and live with them throughout the duration of their internship. By splitting the cost of living with others, interns will end up paying much less and will get more out of their internship experience. Our platform aims to be the bridge between interns that need to travel to a different city / state and home owners who wish to make some seasonal profits.

How we built it

We build this platform using a Springboot Java backend which allowed us to create a RESTful API to serve as an endpoint for the flow and transfer of data. For our front end (user interface) we used React js as well as Material UI for ease of flexibility and responsiveness. First we designed the project creating UMLs and mock interfaces and then we delegated actionable tasks to each team member.

Challenges we ran into

Every person in our group either had work / church or something else going on for about half of the duration of the hackathon. We had very little time to work while under one voice call. Knowing that this would be an issue; as soon as the hackathon started, we spent a lot of time on design and organization. This facilitated the workflow and everyone knew what they should be implementing. We played to everyone's strengths and embraced it. Two of our members were very good with Java so they took care of the back end, and the other two had knowledge of Javascript and web development which made the front end do-able. The project we had was ambitious and we were scared that we would run out of time but the organization that we did, allowed us to build the platform in a timely manner.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we finished the main functionality of the website. This includes creating and building a Front-End, Back-End and Devops. Ultimately, we were successful in deploying to Google Cloud and learning how to design, build and deploy a project from scratch. This has been a very good learning experience for everyone in the team and has motivated us to participate in future hackathons.

What we learned

We learned how important it is to design and plan before coding. We also learned how to split the responsibilities and working to everyone's strengths. Being able to stay organized allowed us to work through the roadblocks that we faced. Most of us were free at different times and couldn't communicate all that often so knowing that you can go on and do what you need to do without worrying was nice.

What's next for InternZip

We hope to add more locations and have a more interactive website with messaging. Getting just a few home owners to list their properties can allow many interns to fully enjoy and learn in their internships.

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