As university students, we worry about off-campus housing every year, not only struggling to find the perfect place to call a temporary home, but also finding the perfect roommates to share that home with. While places like Facebook marketplace and Craigslist allow individuals to post apartment listings, there is no significant platform that allows individuals to choose apartment listings and directly see other individuals who are also interested in the same listing. Therefore, we wanted to create this platform to enhance the housing and roommate finding experience such that the user is able to effectively and efficiently find their ideal roommate and home.

What it does

A user looking for housing and/or roommates that has a valid account is allowed to browse through apartment listings based on their designated area, price range, housing preferences, and popularity ratings. One they find a posting that they are interested in, they are able favourite it which will directly save it to their account for future reference. Additionally, once they like a posting or view a posting they like, they are able to see a list of other corresponding users that have also liked the posting to present potential roommate options.

A user looking to put their housing up for rent with a valid account are allowed to create and initiate postings that include parameters such as their preferred leasing timeframe, expected rent price, description, address, and other features. This posting will appear in the browsing section where users of the platform will be able to engage in contacting and potentially renting the housing option.

How we built it

We built this using Flask for the backend and React for the frontend. We first defined the endpoints we wanted including functions to get listings, browse listings, create a user profile, etc.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into include defining the concrete expectations we wanted to have from both user sides, implementing CockroachDB and using psycopg2 since they were both new technologies. The very first step in creating this project was designing what we expected from both users that were looking to rent and users that were renting their properties. We had to define the expected endpoints and made sure that fit with the needs of each user such that user satisfaction was the main priority. Additionally, since CockroachDB was a new technology we were unfamiliar with, we had to use resources from the workshop to adjust and adapt to the learning curve.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of the fact that we were able to incorporate CockroachDB into our project. Having never been previously exposed to the technology, we were able to utilize the workshops to our advantage and incorporate the database into our final result. The perfectly designed workshop allowed us to implement a database from CockroachDB that forms the basis of what we want to achieve with our project. Through this, we were not only able to present a complete project, but we also gained a new skill that can be utilized towards future projects.

Additionally, we used other workshops such as those discussing Flask and React to our advantage, allowing us to learn the basis of these foundations in order to further our project.

What we learned

We learned how to use CockroachDB to our advantage in this project! Even though all of us didn't have any previous experience with CockroachDB, the informative workshops absolutely changed our perspective field on databases by expanding it and introducing us to a database system that is easily integrable and versatile to fit the needs of our project. This was one of the biggest takeaways from our project and are so glad to have been exposed to this technology for future uses as well!

What's next for MyRoommie

For MyRoommie, the next step would be to implement a chatbox feature such that a user can directly message the list of 'potential' roommates rather than just have their contact information displayed. We also want to add a 'recently viewed' section which would allow users to go back to any of the posts they previously looked at and act differently upon it if desired.

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