When we were just learning how to program, we wished for someone - a real person - to guide us through the process. Programming can be difficult, and sometimes the fresh perspective of another human being is need to make you realize something you hadn't before. Our app, Learner's Lab, is an interactive platform designed to pair those who want to learn how to program with those who want to share their knowledge. Members choose which programming languages they would like help with and which they feel comfortable instructing, and are matched you with other users accordingly.

What it does

At first, Learner's Lab prompts you to log in or register. Once finished, you can access your personal account, where you fill in information regarding which languages you would like to learn and which you would like to be a mentor for. As of now, the languages are limited to Python, MATLAB, and Java due to our lack of time. Following registration and the filling out of personal information, you can request to obtain a mentor if registered as a student. Once the mentor accepts the request, the other person's information is displayed on the My Mentors or My Students page in the app. Mentors earn more points for helping more students, and are rated by their students on a 1-5 scale to yield an overall rating of their tutelage. While we did not have time to do so, we would like to expand our project to include a direct link to and a page for posting tutorials.

How we built it

MATLAB was the primary software and programming language used. Using App Designer, a built in package, the app was designed in several different app windows tied together by callbacks. Additionally, an online server storing user information was created in Google sheets, and a direct link was established between MATLAB and the spreadsheet.

Challenges we ran into

There were many errors over the course of the hackathon. Most of them were programming related, as we encountered many technical errors. Additionally, since it was our first time using the App Designer Library, we had to troubleshoot quite frequently. Finally, it was challenging to tie all of our skills together, since one of us is skilled at MATLAB, and the other two are skilled at HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we actually produced a final project and managed to use our strengths and weaknesses to work together as a team.

What we learned

We learned about online data servers, designing an app with App Designer, and how to more effectively troubleshoot our problems.

What's next for Learner's Lab

While we did not have time to do so, we would like to expand our project to include a direct link to and a page for posting tutorials. Additionally, it might be interesting to include different spoken languages in addition to programming languages. For example, we could pair those who speak Spanish and want to learn English with those who speak English and want to learn Spanish. Our goal is to tear down language barriers and make education accessible for everyone.

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