As four women who have worked in the STEM field, we all have the experienced the struggle behind finding guidance or mentorship. While being a woman in computer science is great and rewarding, belonging to an underrepresented category can be extremely discouraging, and it's easy for a woman to feel isolation from her STEM community. However, we are never alone. When STEM women are disheartened and in need of help, there are tons of other women out there who can relate to the feeling, and they would be glad to help a fellow STEM woman in need. The only problem is-- how do we find these people, and how do we match potential mentors with needing mentees?
What it does
Our website, Mentopea, essentially matches mentorship-seeking mentees with mentors who are willing to guide them. While searching, mentees input "tags" to narrow down their search. For example, if a mentee is looking for someone who specializes in Java programming, they may input the tag "Java". From there, a search is performed on our database, and when matches are found, these mentors' profiles are displayed.
How I built it
We explored the scope of front end & backend web dev design. We used Adobe CS6, HTML, CSS and Bootstrap to create our frontend of our website. We focused to make it aesthetically pleasing and user friendly as best to our abilities. We learned MongoDB and Flask to create the backend to store, manipulate and run data of the mentors and mentees from our database to display on our website.
Our domain name: www.mentopea.com
Challenges I ran into
For the majority of us, this has been the first time we have worked with any type of web application. It's difficult to find a starting place and find the right resources to start creating a website from scratch. While the Hack@Brown mentors were able to help in the right direction, it wasn't smooth sailing from there (of course.) We particularly had trouble implementing databases, which proved to be more challenging then we had expecting.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
As an all female group, we are proud of our accomplishments in completing a functioning web application with a cool back-end.
What I learned
We learned how to implement and manipulate Bootstrap for the front-end design. We used for the first time how to use MongoDB & Flask for the backend.
What's next for Mentopea
We hope to expand our product by adding new features such as a crowdsourcing ratings of mentors, comment system and showing availabilities of users when they are online. We chose to use a web application platform in order to expand to different platforms easily. We hope to make an android & iOS app for our product.