Inspiration: We have many low income people, including immigrants and folks with low-employable skills, in underserved communities in the Bay Area. The Bread Project aims to create an ecosystem for employers and job seekers from those communities by providing skill development trainings and connections to employers. We want these low-income group people to feel empowered in their lives, and make it so that they can enjoy the same societal benefits as others. Their cause inspired us to pick this Project.
What it does: Our product helps accelerate the work TBP is doing. We have removed the manual work friction i their system so that employers can contact the available job seekers quickly.
How we built it: With a team of seven hackers, two mentors, and two amazing NPO representatives, we were blessed to have a large range of abilities at our disposal when it came to crafting our solution. We began by sitting together as a full group and hashing out our needs--those of all of our potential users. From there, we began to branch off and delegate tasks to our different groups. While our graphic designer and UX designer worked on hashing out prototypes for the team to view, the front and back-end engineers discussed the technical problems we would need to deal with in building the product. Coming together after the first round of prototypes, aided with information and feedback from our NPO and mentors, we exchanged opinions and began to build. As more pages were designed, more pages were coded, and there was continuous back and forth communication between all groups in our team. It's no lie when we say this project was built with passion and hard work.
Challenges we ran into: Our biggest challenge was probably just the scope of the project. The entire product was a large amount of work for one week and a team of people with busy schedules, but we have tried our hardest to get as much done as we could in the given time. Another problem was the general low level of experience of our team. Made up of mostly current students and new grads, we did not have a lot of technical experience to begin with, but were somehow able to bring together our abilities to try and make it work the best we could.
Accomplishments that we're proud of: We're very proud of being able to provide something for this amazing non-profit so they can further the work they do without sacrificing more labor than necessary. The best thing that we've all agreed on is that despite a prize or not, we feel like we've been helping an amazing cause, and any work we can provide to TBP is the accomplishment that we will be the most proud of.
What we learned: We learned what good collaboration looks like, and what it means to have a good team that has your back through every decision. We were so lucky to have supportive and passionate people to work together with, and together we have not only learned new technical skills between us all, but also how to collaborate even better in the future.
What's next for The Bread Project - Creating Opportunity Ecosystem: Our next step would be integrating our project with the existing TBP website, allowing users to access our job portal easily through a pre-existing interface.