One of our team members is an international student from Indonesia, and we all have met many other students from all over the world in the last couple of days (e.g. Malaysia, Vietnam, Korean etc.). From what we've seen, it's harder for international students to adapt, so we decided to build WatWorldWeb, which makes it easier for these students to find others who have the same background and culture as they do. This way they can gain more support from each other and discover UWaterloo campus more, just like a new home.php for them.
What it does
Some basic features of the website:
- Login/Logout: every user can register for an account and sign in.
- Searches for People from the same country
- Message that list of people
- Change account settings (password, username, bio)
- Adds a new discovery (good restaurants, international clubs, cheap flights) and look at others' discovery
How we built it
Discussion: Made a list of features that we wanted to incorporate Made a flow chart of web pages, which illustrates which feature to incorporate on which page
Front end: HTML, CSS, bootstrap we selected a template that we wanted, and made basic changes to it (e.g. download a font pack, changes the background picture etc.) to make the UI nicer
Back end: WAMP server, php/sql (text editor: Brackets)
from the discussion/features, we set up a WAMP database (relational database, including user, discovery and messages table as well as its fields; e.g. user_id (primary key), content etc.)
first create connect.php which connects all files to this database
create signup.php to make it possible to insert data into the database by UI, followed by signin, signout and home.php
add new pages for other features, which links to the home.php
Challenges we ran into
- Some of us have never programmed before, and we just started working on the front end stuff, which is slightly easier since it only involves html and css. It was quite hard to read over all the bootstrap files at first, and decide which files to extract.
- Those who knew php and sql aren't super proficient at it, so they had to do a lot of researching to see where they got the errors, especially with the newer version of sql (instead of sql it became sqli), and they had to actually sift through which one is the current version and which one isn't.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have finished the entire structure and all of the features discussed during this period of time, which we did not imagine that we can do.
What we learned
Some of us learned a lot about web development from the very beginning, like CSS, HTML and also learned to use bootstrap. Others have become more proficient at PHP and SQL. We all learned some new knowledge for the git commands.
What's next for WatWorldWeb
- We definitely need to work on the UI a bit more to make it look friendlier
- After doing so, we will consider adding more features to it; like reaching out to other international students rather than just from their own country, and add events etc.
- If the features look pretty well-rounded, we will host it on a remote server (e.g. goDaddy, iPage etc.) so that people can actually use it