It could be overwhelming to build connections and seek good advice in the tech industry. Not all questions can be answered by a simple google search. Connections and mentorships are essential for women in the tech industry.

We were inspired by Western university's Big Sister and Little Sister mentorship program for women engineering. However, we wanted it to create something on a bigger scale. Therefore, we decided to develop a platform for women and gender-diverse individuals to find people who can help them navigate the tech industry. It could also help parents and educators to find course materials, tutors, and other educational services for their students that other women and gender-diverse individuals create. Our goal is to help expose those traditionally underexposed to the tech industry and help women and gender diverse individuals learn more about STEM and become more comfortable seeking tech-related careers. It's the perfect way for women and gender-diverse individuals to build their social networks and gain valuable information from industry professionals.

What it does

SheTalksTech is a microblogging platform with matchmaking features that empower women to pursue careers in STEM by providing a platform to form strong connections with mentors and give access to career-related resources. There is a blog component where users (mentors and industry professionals) can write articles about their journey in STEM and the tech industry. The blogs could be based on their work experience or tips for women and gender-diverse individuals who are curious about STEM. The blogs also include various topics in STEM. For example, the evolution of self-driving cars, how to handle stress in school, or details about a personal project one might want to share. The microblogging component adds an important personable feeling to our platform, which helps users realize a STEM career isn’t as intimidating as it might seem at first.

We implemented a pairing quiz that pairs users with a mentor who is a woman or a gender-diverse individual in the tech industry. After the pairing, the user can communicate with their mentor using the chat available on the website. The user can ask their mentor any industry-related question to seek guidance.

SheTalks Tech also facilitates easy scheduling for mentors to offer paid services such as one-on-one meetings. In addition, the platform allows recruitment officers to post job postings and increase their viewership through paid advertisements on the site. For individuals looking to broaden the reach of their blogs, they have the option to upgrade to premium blogs.

How we built it

We started with a mockup on Figma to collaboratively map out all our ideas and discuss our design and layout ideas! We then decided on the technologies we wanted to build our project. We chose to make SheTalksTech using Firebase, CSS, HTML, Javascript and Express.js. Javascript is used for the dynamic handling of the website. Firebase is used as a NoSQL database that saves all the blog’s data entered on the website. Firebase is crucial for that, as we need a place to store this data to make the blogs available all the time on the website. Html is used to create the basic structure of the pages. CSS is used to add styling. And finally, we used express for the networking for the website.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge that we ran into was the usage of Firebase for the first. We are very proud that we learned how to use the Firebase database in JavaScript. However, it was more challenging to save the blog's content on the Firebase database and display it. It took many tries, but we did not give up, and we made it work. Another challenging part was sharing all the code. We tried using LiveShare, but it was not effective. So we decided to use GitHub as a way to share our code and to collaborate. We ran into many merge conflicts since of us were inexperienced with collaborating with git, but we resolved them in the end!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud that we have built a tool that could help women and gender diverse individuals feel more comfortable about the world of STEM. We cannot wait to continue improving SheTalksTech and to release it to the public. We want to advertise it to women and gender-diverse individuals in the industry to become mentors if they are interested. We are very proud that we could use Firebase for the first time as well!

What we learned

It was the first time collaborating on a project of this type for many of us. Some of us have never had experience using Javascript or building a web app. We learned how to use Firebase with Javascript and collaborate effectively virtually. We had so much fun building SheTalksTech. It's a great experience to feel like we created a helpful tool to enable so many people to achieve their full potential.

What's next for SheTalksTech

We would like to expand our microblogging functionality and add user authentication! This would allow users to actually follow and curate their own content outside of our test users. We want to continue on improving the chatting functionality to give mentors and mentees the best collaborating experience. Furthermore, we want to market ShetalksTech to have more users and mentors. We have started by registering the domain to publish it in the future. Finally, we want to implement secure transactions for service payments if users wish to sell services, or purchase ad space on our platform.

Share this project: