We were all on a call trying to brainstorm what to build for this hackathon and all of our ideas kept coming back to food. It may have been that we're just always hungry, but food is important to all of us for reasons that go beyond just sustenance. Food is how we connect to our individual cultures, through recipes passed down through generations. It's also how we grow closer to others -- whether it be through swapping your favorite recipes or just sharing a home-cooked meal together. During the pandemic it has become much harder to grow close to one another through food -- but is it impossible? The idea of Tastee was born as a way to combine cooking, learning about other cultures, and making new friends all into one experience. Think book clubs -- but for food!

Challenges we ran into

Trying to balance college and hacking was a real challenge! We had to get creative with how we could use our time to build as much as we could. Deploying our web app to Heroku was a technical challenge we ran into. Figuring out secret keys and sessions was also a struggle at first. Another challenge was we were ambitious and always thinking of extra ideas to incorporate, thus it was hard to strike the right balance between what we should include vs. what we should leave for the future.

Technical Details

We used Django as the main framework of this app, using python for the backend and JavaScript for the front end. For our database, we used Google Cloud's Firebase, specifically the real-time database, user authentication, and storage buckets. For acquiring the recipes, we used the Edamam-API. Within our app, we also wrote our own APIs to interact with the firebase and other CRUD functionalities. Lastly, we deployed to Heroku.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

All of us have experience with hackathons but this was our first time trying to build something with a fully-functional user login system. We're really happy with how it turned out given that we had to learn everything on the fly.

What we learned

I think the most impactful thing we learned through this project was actually not any technical skill. It was understanding just how important the design process is when first creating something. We spent a good chunk of time sketching mockups and planning out data flows before jumping into the coding, and it made a huge difference when we finally sat down to implement things.

Next Steps

We want to fix up the UI, to make things more consistent and clean! We also want to add better support for multiple user interaction in addition to what we have already, such as a means to interact with each other more.

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