Inspiration

One of my group members came up with the idea, and it seemed pretty fun and straightforward.

What it does

(Ideally, ) The app allows the user to create a profile with minimal information (just a username and a daily expiring status), along with a list of various interests. After setting a radius and various other settings, the user may browse through a list of others who have also set up profiles. Tapping an item on the list would take the user to that individual's profile, showing their interests, and an option to chat. This way one could find people with similar interests and more efficiently make plans, all with the intent of networking and creating worthwhile relationships.

In its current state it is mostly just a demo, and doesn't have most of this functionality.

How I built it

After clearly defining the functionality of the app, I started with a general design (a drawing), after some brainstorming with my team. I set up basic layouts in xml for each of the screens I expected the app to have, using android studio. After that I wrote down what I thought each screen would require, both functionally and in terms of code, before starting to actually code.

Challenges I ran into

Though I could conceptually piece things together and figure out (about 90% of) the steps required for bringing the program to life, I'm still not totally comfortable with very crucial APIs and development patterns for Android. I especially struggled with databases. For this particular project, I think databases were especially important to the functionality of the application, as the end goal was to have many people sign up (so storing email, password, and username info), and then have those people define their interests (more things to store). I ended up going for a sort of mock app, where I used dummy, hard coded data in place of actual data stored in a database.

Another, maybe less important hurdle was Googling our idea and finding that others had already made similar apps. Though my team's intentions were much grander, and I do think the project had potential and could stand on its own, in the end I still think the project was way more of a learning experience than anything else.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

This is my first android project I've started from scratch and (somewhat) completed. Most other apps that I've "completed" were basically guidelines that I fleshed out with supplementary instruction.

What I learned

I've learned that I still have a LOT to learn :P I've also learned to apply knowledge that I've had for a while (mainly with respect to Android APIs) in a more concrete manner.

What's next for PeerFind

Hopefully I'll actually integrate databases, and figure out exactly where I would be storing those databases, considering this app would be distributing data to many people.

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