My mom became a trucker in August of last year and she really enjoys it! However, every time I call her, her most consistent complaint is not being able to find trucker-friendly parking. Most truck stops fill up around 5 pm, and it's the worst to have to turn around and scavenge the next exit for unreliable parking. But parking spaces are everywhere! Churches, colleges, empty lots. Why can't truckers book a parking spot like a hotel or dinner reservation? For having so many truckers across the world dealing with the same frustrations, you would think someone had solved the issue by now.

What it does

Our application has two interfaces. The "Trucker" enables truckers to find safe/reliable parking at the end of their shift. It lists these locations with their amenities associated, contact info, addresses, as well as restaurants within walking distance. It also allows the Trucker to reserve parking spaces and view availability at participating locations. The "Mother" interface lists locations that can be claimed or added by hosts. If the host lists location, they can rent out or donate parking spaces for us to manage, describe amenities, parking fees, and any other information that the trucker may need.

How we built it

In Visual Studio, we built our front-end using React.js and built our back-end with Node.js and Express. We kept our tasks organized with a beautiful Trello board, separated into parallel sprints, with Travis tackling the front-end most the time and Gabby tackling the back-end. We set up foundations for and attempted implementing cloud-based databases, like cloud-spanner or firestore. But given the time constraints, we pivoted on Saturday night to complete the project and just kept data on the client-side.

Challenges we ran into

We decided to create this application using ReactJS and NodeJS, because neither of us had ever used nor really seen these before, and it proved to be quite challenging. We had some false starts, where we did processes in the wrong order, and it seemed to mess up the application. But we pivoted quickly whenever was necessary.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're super proud of our flexibility and quick problem-solving throughout this weekend.

What we learned

Learning was our biggest goal for the weekend, and that's exactly why we used React and Node.js. We learned how these systems work, along with the process of developing in full-stack. We also learned about the many cloud databases, and how complex they can be to implement. Some other technology things we picked up over the weekend were app design, javascript, and html/css. In addition to the tech stuff, we greatly improved our skills in time management, teamwork, and slowing down to figure out problems before diving into code too fast.

What's next for Mother Trucker

We will continue developing this project, as it's so meaningful for many truckers out there and Gabby's mom. It also has lots of potential as a money-making app. We will either continue trucking through the reactJS or we'll develop it with software we're more familiar with.

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