In urban areas, the sense of community is lacking. We wanted to increase participation and interaction in urban communities, and foster a sense of belonging. We aim to connect people by helping them help others.
What it does
Enter TasCart, which was created in 2016 as a tool to foster genuine connections between members of a community, specifically in large urban centers. The nature of our living structure has isolated us to a point where neighbors often don’t know each other’s names. TasCart responds to this problem by encouraging members of a community to help each other in small but meaningful ways. Designed as a network to connect people who need help with those who can provide help, the service provided is an online facilitated forum where users can post requests for small tasks--for example, picking up some extra items when grocery shopping--which is accepted for either negotiated prices, pro bono, or community service hour allocations. Overall, TasCart is a powerful tool for meeting those around us and finding serendipity in the small stuff in life.
How we built it
The database component of TasCart was made using Express.js and MongoDB in conjunction with jQuery to allow for basic interactions with the database. A static version of the site (protoype) was also created.
Challenges we ran into
None of our team members have ever participated in a Hackathon before, and all of us could be considered fairly new to code. None of us had experience with back-end web development either, meaning that we had to learn almost everything from scratch. As each team member was located in a different city, it was difficult to co-ordinate many aspects of the project, not two mention that two of our team members had final exams running during the Hackathon and another had prom.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As we all had very little experience coming in and there were many bumps in the road, we are proud of what we managed to accomplish during the two days--including a business plan. Each of us learned a lot from this experience.
What we learned
We learned some of the basics of Mongo, Express, and Node. All of us approached subjects that we were previously unfamiliar with, which also includes HTML, CSS, and graphic design.
What's next for TasCart
We want to create a fully-featured mobile application to make the program more accessible when out and about. Task validation will be improved and more safety/security concerns will be addressed.