There's a lot of learning materials out there and developers are often spoilt for choice. Doing a Google search for instance, for something like
"facebook messenger tutorial" will bring lot of sites, but it does not always mean that the top results are essentially the best.
Many times when learning a new skill, language or looking for a particular solution to a problem, developers often search the Internet for solutions and always spend a lot of time trying to get the best learning resource. This takes up a lot of time and a person may still end up not finding a suitable resource. This inspired us to create a platform (focusing on the user experience), to help developers easily share best tutorials with others, giving a comment and rating of the tutorial.
What it does
re:tut is a well organized developer tool for finding the best tutorials online, on specific subjects. It seeks to improve learning amongst developers, helps improve developer skills and to encourage sharing of knowledge between developers.
Our platform is split into various components: a Chrome extension (to be released later), a web application and Messenger bot (beta), all of them synchronized. When a user comes across a nice tutorial, all they need to do is click on the extension, give a rating and some short comment about the tutorial, and it's posted for the rest. A user can also have a chat with the messenger bot where he/she will be able to post learning resources and able to see the learning resources that were posted by other people.
How we built it
The API was built with Node.js and MySQL DB. We then have a Messenger bot with a Node.js backend too, chrome extension (for UX) and a react web application being the clients for the server.
Challenges we ran into
- Authenticating our chrome extension with Facebook Login API, and at the same authenticating the extension with our backend API. This is the bit that has held back our chrome extension.
- Juggling daily work and working on this project.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Having the messenger bot on time and learning new things in the course of working on the project. We were also able to push ourselves out of our comfort zones as we struggled between our day jobs and finding time to work on the project.
What we learned
Team-work makes the dream work. The constant encouragement, enthusiasm and moral support from the team members encouraged us to keep pushing on with the project despite our other commitments elsewhere. We were also able to leverage on the strengths of different members within the team thus making it possible to deliver a big percentage of what we had set out to produce for the MVP.
What's next for re:tut
- Enhancement for Facebook Graph API, we would like to let users know what they Facebook friends are posting/learning, to enhance the learning experience. Though this, they can easily find people they can reach out to for help.
- Introduce AI for tagging. As it currently, we're tagging (classifying tutorials) using basic algorithms and human moderators, but the next steps is to have the tagging done automatically through an AI content clarification algorithm.
- The bot to be able to learn from what the user posts and recommend other learning materials.
- Link up with the Kazi+ job platform