Our inspiration for making this web app is mainly the International Friendship Family Programs in universities all over the US. These programs are cross-culture exchange programs that match American host families with international students who are thousands of miles away from home. Since we understand how much impact such programs have, we decided to make such important activities available to the broader immigrant and refugee community. With our web app, immigrants with diverse backgrounds will be able to find a community and connect with people with similar interests and gain a sense of belonging.
What it does
Our web app is a platform for Non-citizens and New citizens to connect and share their culture/experiences with existing residents in a country. The users (citizens & non-citizens) will create accounts on our website and fill out their profiles. Based on their profiles, we will suggest some matches the users should get in contact with.
How we built it
We wanted to make our project easily accessible so we decided to make it a web app with a foundation in html/css and php. We used Amazon Web Services to run an instance of EC2 as a server and to store data. We used the google maps, place search, and auto complete API's to display nearby activities the user might be interested in.
Challenges we ran into
Throughout the competition we ran into many challenges that we needed to overcome some smaller or larger than others. One of our biggest challenges was a third party service being canceled by google. This cause us to rethink how we are approaching the problem and come at it from a different angle. Another challenge we ran into was learning to create an EC2 and an RDS instance and choosing which one was useful to us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we were able to work together as a team to get a working version of our project submitted on time as well as being able to recover after multiple massive unforeseen issues. We are also proud to say that even though our final product was not what we thought it would be, the group still had a good time and are proud of the work we created. We successfully set up an aws-ec2 instance and configured it as a web server for our web app.
What we learned
We learned about how html and php can work together to make a solid base program. While working with the Google API's we became more familiar with how to navigate and understand code documentation that we were unfamiliar with. We also became more familiar with the Amazon Web services to create EC2 and RDS instances and use them to our benefit.
The project has been a great learning experience for everyone in the group. We plan to work on the program to possibly create what we had originally had envisioned at the beginning or to the knowledge we gained to better complete future projects.