Time to Start and Getting My Feet Wet With React

The rest of Week 2 and beginning of Week 3 were all spent on project planning. I had a great time meeting with my team members to discuss more about the structure of our application and division of workload on things like how to store images and serve them in the backend, the different pages our web app requires, prototyping, etc. Now that the planning is done, I think we as a group has a much clearer vision of what we are going to achieve by the end of this term.

First thing first, our team picked React, which I had no prior experience in, as our framework so I thought a self-learning session would be helpful to gain some familiarity with React. Given the limited time I have until I need to build my first UI, I decided to do a quick crash course video on YouTube instead of going through dry documentations. There is a video I find particularly helpful, as it covers the basics and is easy to follow through. Not only that, it also demonstrates how to display a list of items with the option to delete any one of them, and that is a functionality I have to implement for one of my pages. The link to the video is https://youtu.be/w7ejDZ8SWv8.

With that I started building a sign up page for our application that directs user to sign up either as a user or as a shelter. As I was building the page, I started to realize how efficient React is compared to regular HTML and CSS. The reusable components and ability to take in arbitrary inputs really makes a huge difference. For example, I only had to make a button component that takes in a prop and I can reuse that button for different needs as shown in the image attached below. What a time saver!

First Sign Up Page

I can’t wait to learn more about React and start to implement multi-page design for the application next week! Also, I’ll have to brush up on my Express skills as I’ll be building the backend for user signup next week.

Getting Ready to Start On the Capstone Journey

The capstone project group has been assigned and I’m so thrilled to be working on my top choice, which is Dating App for Animal Adoption, along with two amazing teammates! After a brief discussion with the team, we have come to the conclusion of building a responsive web application since it’s more accessible for users across all platforms. The task now is to decide what tech stack we are going to use as a team.

All of our team members are most experienced and comfortable with Python and JavaScript so it made the decision much simpler – either Python or JavaScript. I myself have worked on a couple projects in Python using Flask framework and I have no complaint about it. However, JavaScript still remains the most popular language used for web development so I would like to use this chance to brush up my skills while working on a larger application that resembles a real-life project.

Due to my limited experience with web development in Javascript, I have not used any Javascript frameworks. That being said, I’m open to learn any mainstream frameworks, such as React or Angular. Though one of our teammates had worked with Angular in the past, we settled for React for now. The reason being that React has an easier learning curve so we can focus more on getting real work done than spending too much time just learning.

Lastly, we plan on deploying our web application to GCP to stay up to the trend and utilize cloud technology. And to keep things all on one platform, we will be using Google’s Datastore as our database.

Now that the tech stack has been narrowed down, we’ve started looking into software structure and prototyping. I can’t wait to see what designs our group come up with in the next few days!

About Me and Project Ideas

Welcome to my first capstone blog post! I can’t believe this is my last term at OSU, but I’m also extremely excited to bring together what I know and showcase them in my capstone project. Before getting into the real project and technical things, I just want to take a moment to introduce myself and some projects I’m interested in.

I graduated college back in 2018 with a degree in statistics and started teaching math for some time. Although it was really fun interacting with students and helping them improve their math skills day by day, I felt there was something missing. I started yearning the college experience of learning something new everyday and running into problems then coming up with solutions, all of which I hated while I was a student. That was when I started thinking about a new career that would grant me all of that and discovered OSU’s post-bacc CS program.

I still remember how nervous and uncertain I was on the first day of class, but the first task of printing “Hello World!” eased the anxiety. I was like “Oh, this is totally not bad!” From there, I’ve come a long way and learned about data structures/algorithms, databases, building full-stack web apps, etc. Now that I’m at the end of this journey, I would say starting this program was the best decision of my life and I can’t wait to see what I can build for my last assignment here at OSU.

Before I end my first blog, I also wanted to talk about a project idea I fell in love with, Dating App for Animal Adoption. I am an avid animal lover and a proud parent of two fur babies, both adopted from local shelters, so I would love to have an opportunity to contribute and showcase my skills through a project I deeply resonate with. I was thinking to make an adoption app not just for local rescues, but also include international ones. This will give people who want to help out animals aboard that might be in much worse environment than in the US a channel to do so.

Hopefully I get assigned to my favorite project, but there are a few others I’m also interested in. Looking forward to working with my future teammates and creating an amazing app!