Being an international student in a completely new place, it was difficult for us to talk to new people and be friends with them. We were often confined in our own space. The difference in the cultural background even made it difficult for us to interact with people around. We were here on this large campus but felt alone inside as we did not have any friends. UTA is the fifth most diverse campus, we saw people from different parts of the world but never got courage to speak up.

What it does

Ronniemates initiates the get to know phase-in friendship by matching people of similar interest but different background. A person from Nepal might get matched up with another person from Kenya. They are allowed to chat and learn about each other's culture, lifestyle, and language. After reaching certain points threshold from the conversations, the users are permitted to view each other's personal details like Facebook, email, the name so that they can meet up and hang out.

How we built it

The project is divided into the back end and front end and later both were reconciled to complete the project. Webpage scripts like JavaScript, CSS, Bootstrap, HTML were used to come up with aesthetically pleasing web interface. We tried to imply various templates according to the theme of the project to make it meaningful and fun. Python was our main tool to develop the backend which was based on a framework created using Django.

Challenges we ran into

Integration of front and back end was our major challenge overnight. The configuration of chatbox with the database was difficult for us but we tried to do as much as we could. Syncing the collected data to the cloud and extracting when needed was another low point in our project where we tried our best to give our users factful pieces of information about their friends.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Alas! the 24 hours of hardcore coding and having fun ended. Being our first time in a Hackathon, we really had fun with our new teammates. Syncing with the theme of the day, 'Diversity' our group was a diverse combination of engineers ranging from Mechanical, Electronics, Computer, and Business. The input of all-round engineering bits of knowledge really helped us come to deciding point relating to every fact in real-life application development. Incorporating the business side of the world was really a plus point for us. Dividing task and taking own responsibility for completing the project was the highest point for the last day. Despite those hardships and frustrations of the code not being compiled at the end, we do come up with something presentable.

What we learned

Teamwork, staying up all night, time management were major factors of learning in this competition.

What's next for RonnieMates

This is a prototype phase of the website with basic features available. The next step would be in improving its aesthetics, adding more features like the points count, recommendations during the chat, the ability to send pictures and videos in the chatbox.

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