We are four data and math enthusiasts who are fairly new into the world of graph databases. After starting to learn Neo4j and having fun working with it, we saw the Global GraphHack as a perfect opportunity to deepen our understanding and really challenge ourselves.

What it does

Meetup Mixer is an ice-breaker and an educational tool to teach people at a Meetup about graphs and Cypher. When new members show up to a Meetup for the first time, it can be hard to start conversations in a room full of strangers. Encourage your members to enter several interests in Meetup Mixer. The app will recommend other people at the Meetup with common interests who they can talk to. The app will also show users the Cypher that they could use to update Neo4j with their interests directly.

How we built it

Meetup Mixer is a GRANDstack application. Being completely new to GRANDstack, we used the GRANDstack starter project as a jumping off point. From there, we created a multi-page web application within React. We created the network visualizations using D3. For our add users/topics page, we utilized Apollo to fetch our data and we used OneGraph to integrate a user login.

Challenges we ran into

Being new to GRANDstack required us to set up our infrastructure to be able to run the GraphQL and React components of the program using NodeJS and Yarn. We also had to figure out some of the basics- setting things up to be able to develop locally but also share with others and keep it running, and then also figuring out how to have the server refresh automatically after the data is updated. These things are the required foundation to be able to build, and it can take time if you are new.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The entire thing! We went from Neo4j novices to building an entire React app with our free time in one month. For our experience level and the amount of time that we had, we feel very proud that we created something that others can use.

What we learned

We were learning constantly while developing this project, and that is why we had so much fun with it. All of the tools within GRANDstack were new or mostly new to us. We had only written basic JavaScript before this, so it was an awesome opportunity to practice our JavaScript and D3 skills. We learned some development fundamentals like how to run a program locally or set up a server to share your program, and how to maintain code on GitHub. We learned how to create a video without video editing software. Basically, every piece of this challenge was a fun learning opportunity for us. At the end, we realized even more than before how powerful graph analysis and network science is, and are excited to see it grow in the data industry.

What's next for Meetup Mixer

We hope that other developers will take our project to use at their meetups, to learn Neo4j as well as the other components of GRANDstack, and/or to create a similar project or expand on this one to make it even better!

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