Project: RateMyDIY
Date: November 30, 2018

Individual Accomplishments

This week the goal was to to build out all of the features for the RateMyDIY project. We had to get the application to a point where it was working properly and all the features were functional. This included being able to create a project, edit/delete a project, add a review, view all reviews, search for a project, etc. I worked on the search functionality this week and on the ability to view all projects for a particular user. I decided to focus on building the search functionality earlier in the week, as we could use that for building other features of the web application.

Once I had the search functionality working, I used that infrastructure to work on some of the other features for the website. For example, when you clicked on a username, it would perform a search and return all the projects that are relevant to that username. Additionally, clicking on a Popular Reviewer’s username would return all the projects that the user has reviewed. I enjoyed working on these features as it really involved working on both the front and backend for every feature. I also worked with Reactstrap for adding a pop up (Modal) when a user was not logged in and performed a search. The pop up would encourage the user to log in but would let them proceed if they did not want to log in.

Detailed Analysis

I chose to work on one of the key features of the website this week. I decided to work on the ability for a user to search for a project. The search functionality involved both front and backend work as I had to develop how the website would capture the search term and send it to the backend to be processed and return the relevant projects. We decided to use a library called Fuse.js for searching as this allowed for a more flexible search rather than simply retrieving data from a SQL database using the specific search term. I learned about tokenization search terms within an array, a threshold for specificity, and assigning relevance to keys for the library to return the results. I had a challenge as our data is stored in a SQL database and the Fuse.js library required an array of objects to search. My approach was to write a SQL statement that would join all the (very normalized) tables we have in the database to output an array of objects that the library can take in to provide relevant results. As the dataset grows, it might become inefficient to output everything from the database and we might opt for a more robust solution like Elastic search or Apache Solr.

I followed an approach of making the search functionality use a GET request and including the query in the URL. I thought this made sense as it is more accessible for an API to retrieve relevant projects and makes the search results by accessing a URL on the frontend. Some downsides of this are that more complex search queries can become tedious to add in a URL and might be easier to provide an object with options for a search query.

Tasks Pulled In

Search functionality:
Github (frontend):
Github (backend):

Click on a maker:

Click on a reviewer:

Login Pop up:

Milestones Reflections

The goal for this week was to build all of the features for the web application. We had to connect all of the pieces we had been working on in previous weeks so that the features work properly. I thought this week was very productive and we moved along at a faster pace. We made some real progress in building out the features as the set up of the application was already done in previous weeks. The week required a lot of reading other team member’s code and asking questions to understand how a component was built so that I can bring it to what I was building. This week started to feel like a real development experience because we are working on already built pieces and getting them to a point that these can be functional. The experience can be both frustrating because sometimes it is harder to understand how a component works and great because you can make progress faster as the underlying pieces have already been built. I really took advantage of the collaborative tools we have this week. If I was working on a feature and needed to understand I would message a team member and jump in a zoom or we would start a liveshare to pair program. It really helped to be in constant communication and I think it helped us a lot this week.

RateMyDIY List of Features:

  • - Create new DIY project
  • - View a project in detail
  • - Edit/Delete DIY project
  • - View my existing DIY projects
  • - Create a review for a project
  • - View reviews for a project
  • - Rate a review
  • - Login
  • - Signup (with welcome email)
  • - Reset password
  • - Clicking on a maker
  • - Clicking on a reviewer
  • - Search for a project
  • - Search for a maker
  • - Filter search results

The features are working here:

Mock Interview

This week we conducted a second mock interview with another student. We each had to solve a coding challenge and record our process as we are working through finding a solution. I had to solve a challenge to build a Depth First Search algorithm given a tree data structure with a recursive and an iterative solution. I don’t have much experience working with trees so I was nervous about this code challenge. I was surprised because I thought that the recursive solution was going to be more challenging than an iterative one. Yet, it ended up the complete opposite. The recursive solution came more naturally to me and trying to solve it with an iterative approach was harder.

I am starting to feel better at solving these challenges. I want to continue practicing as I can feel myself getting better at these.

Here is the link for the mock interview: