The project essentially came from Douglas's idea to have a social car-pooling service. Such a service would facilitate travel for friends to events both big and small. Users could save money and time otherwise spent on gas or public transportation while spending time with friends.
What it does
PoolBuddy stores information on drivers, their direct and mutual Facebook friends, and which events they have stated as planning to go to on Facebook. People looking for a ride could then be matched to a driver within their social circle going on the way to the same event. If a driver within their circle could not be found, then the rider could choose to ride with a stranger a la normal Uber. Drivers could also be compensated for their carpooling if they so chose.
How I built it
I primarily built the backend architecture: -The database containing records on users, drivers, events, etc. was stored in MySQL on an AWS EC2 instance. -For external communication to the server, I built a REST API that would allow for indirect but crucial queries on the data (eg. drivers who match a rider). All traffic to the server was routed through an Apache endpoint.
Douglas and Karan designed the user interface and implemented Facebook login, but decided to resign from the project early. I thus had to establish communication between the main web page, the Graph API, and the server.
Challenges I ran into
My main challenge is that my other two teammates left a day ago, so I have been totally responsible for the project. I do not have much experience in UI compared to Backend work, so I had difficulty building the UI in time.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm proud that I managed to deploy a database architecture in a cloud environment in the rapid environment of a Hackathon, and that I built my first API.
What I learned
If I want the best possible team experience I should plan ahead and get a team together. I have no ill will against my teammates but losing them put this project very close to being off the rails.