Makers Academy Week 11 && 12

Final project — Be My Meme 💕

We were fast approaching the final two weeks of the course and on Monday in Week 11, I joined the Be My Meme team to create a dating site with a difference.

Meme + Dating!

A gap in the market 💸

Internet dating had become very popular over the years with the rise of Tinder, OkCupid and many more sites/app. However, there is no dating site that incorporates the meme culture that we see often on the web.

From previous experiences in signing up for dating profile, the fact some dating sites require input on tedious personality tests, and an impressive bio to express ourselves puts a lot of users off from completing the signing up process.

Our project idea combines our thinking above, and Be My Meme is born. It’s a dating site with integrated meme gallery for your dating profile. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, each user will be able to choose up to 5 memes to enhance their profiles, to find their soulmate online.

You can also browse other profiles and start chatting to any user using our real-time chat function if their profile memes had charmed you into saying hello to them.

Be My Meme —

(Un)familiar technology stack 🤖

We chose Ruby on Rails to build the app, the familiarity of the tech stack allows us to be more adventurous on various features that we weren’t familiar before, such as image gallery and real time chat between two users.

Despite it is a familiar technology stack, we faced various issues during the build listed below:

  1. Out of date tutorials on real time chat implementation in search results
  2. Following RESTful convention due to our user/profile route design
  3. Writing tests for real time chat implementation

With tenacity, creativity and the team following the XP values, those issues were mitigated and we have enough time to overcome those issues before our demo day.

Design phase 📝

We spent around two days to design and document our visions for the web app. It involves breaking users stories into tickets, creating mockups on user interaction, researching implementation and coming up the best way to feed data into our image gallery. Despite there were six of us in the team, everyone’s idea and design opinions were heard and it was great fun to researching dating sites and meme culture.

First sprint of MVP 🏄

On day 3 of week 11, we split up into three implementation team: Real-time chat, Front-end design, and Image Gallery. I initially started on Image Gallery and throughout the week, the team members are swapped to support other team to boost productivity so by the end of the build, I have worked on all of the three teams and it was very rewarding working with each team members throughout the two weeks.

Pulling our socks up 👊

The whole team decided to work on the Saturday on week 11, to remove certain roadblocks and have a MVP done before week 12 begins. I have enormous respect for each of our team members to sacrifice their precious weekend to work on the product.

Retro and review 📈

On Monday, we sat down and reviewed our roadmap. We were an ambitious bunch, however with demo day approaching fast and features freeze in 24 hours, we needed to scale down our roadmap.

We agreed to move features such as block/reporting users to post MVP phase, as a few of us on the team would love to continue improving the product to keep learning on building products on Rails.

By Monday 4pm, we decided to have two members in a team to concentrate on each area: CSS build, Demo presentation, and Testing/QA.

Final sprint of MVP 🚴

From Tuesday, I worked with a team member to implement CSS and designs for a seamless user journey with the application. Second team was building our demo presentation, whilst the third team was working hard to see if we can increase our test coverage. As many of us are busy on Friday, to meet hiring companies on campus, we have wrapped everything up by Thursday 4pm and rehearsed our presentation a couple times.

Demo day 🎭

In the morning, I went to the hiring event along with my cohort members. It was nice to finally meet some of them in person, and I enjoyed the company presentations.

As I already accepted a job offer, I was there as a support for my peers whilst they spoke to companies they are interested in joining. I rang the Makers gong and gave our presentation at 4pm. In the debrief session, emotional goodbyes were exchanged but I believe we all will be friends for life. #makers4life

Learning at Makers Academy had been one of the best experiences in my life. For anyone who is thinking of becoming a developer, please reach out to me on Twitter @herecomesjaycee for any questions you have.

Massive thanks to my team Be my Meme, my cohort Remote January 2017, the careers team, our coach Dan Le Dosquet-Berquist for a lovely few months together 💖