Our inspiration for our project came from growing up in the Bay Area surrounded by environmentally thoughtful communities. We have seen grassroots campaigns start in our schools and neighborhoods, and we know how much work is required to motivate and promote awareness. We wanted a platform that gives everyone an equal opportunity to share the causes most important to them. We wanted a platform that focuses on knowledge and awareness over money and sponsorship. We wanted a platform that anyone can go on and have a voice that will reach worldwide. So we made rootroot.
How it works
rootroot is a robust, highly available media sharing platform focusing on human-to-human interaction, allowing individuals to promote causes they are passionate about. With a user rating system and crowdsourced categories, it empowers users to spread information easily and intentionally. Users can connect with others over similar interests and discover new campaigns to fight for. All of this is done in real-time, using a powerful, scalable, and modern stack and a seamless user interface.
Challenges we ran into
Learning new frameworks and technologies is always an exciting challenge, and we all came out with a huge set of new skills. Angularjs was the first front-end web framework for some of us, and Firebase was a major source of headaches. The Heywatch API was a challenge but we were able to utilize it well and are excited to work with it further. With a background in development and not design, UI and UX are not something we have had a lot of practice with, so it was a learning experience in that regard as well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Working for roughly 48 hours straight, we look back on our weekend with immense pride in our focus, determinism, and productivity. We were able to gain a solid understanding of Angular in a very short amount of time, and found ourselves effortlessly writing new controllers and services that follow good design practice. We are especially proud of our UI design and feel like this is not just a highly functional product, but a very pretty one at that. With no major source control conflicts, we take pride in our development workflow and ability to communicate with one another.
What we learned
We learned that it pays off to focus on one or two major features instead of spreading functionality thinly across many features. We learned how helpful a fast and powerful workflow and task manager is, and how many resources are available for any all and all sources of problems. We learned how important it is not to reinvent the wheel, and to take advantage of frameworks and tools already developed. We learned how satisfying and powerful it is to break large tasks into smaller issues, handling them one at a time in a determined way. We also learned that our bodies are capable of working productively under high-stress settings with little to no sleep, and still have a ton of fun while doing it.
What's next for rootroot
Sleep. We all deserve a nice, deep sleep after all our hard work. The list of features we want to add are endless, and we are particularly excited about a few. First is having a chat room service based on user-generated environmental categories that brings together people of similar interests and facilitates discussion, awareness, and problem-solving. It will help form community naturally and bring about potential action. We discussed having a platform for live-streaming environmental events and debates, and for facilitating meetups and planning. In an age of digitalization and global communication, we feel like it is more important than ever to have a means for everyone's voice to be heard.
- Uprooting (Vote for causes you like)
- Tags (Classify and sort causes)
- Compatible with many video encodings (HeyWatch API)
- Convenient previews of causes (HeyWatch API)
- Scalable and Highly Available on AWS infastructure
- Customizable user profiles