Mentor Matching Machine: Holberton Final Project

These past 9 months at Holberton have been one of toughest and most exciting experience I have ever had thus far. I have achieved a lot of goals and nothing better to end this process than applying the knowledge obtained in a final project.

Tell me and I forget; Teach me and I may remember; Involve me and I learn.
-Confucius

For this final project I was part of an amazing team named MVD composed by:

  • Valentina Jaramillo: Front-end
  • Marcos Pimienta: Front-end
  • David Arias: Back-end and DevOps
  • Deyber Castañeda(me): Back-end

Since our project is integrated with other one from the same company, it was also fundamental the presence of our two peers:

  • Ana Ruth Morales
  • Sebastian Orozco

Motivation

From the beginning we all as a team were looking for a project that would allows us to learn new things and create a positive impact in the company that we were looking to work with in this stage. One of our main options was Techstars, a company that we had heard before and that had great projects offered. I personally identified myself with this company for their believing that great ideas can come from anywhere and that collaboration drives innovation.

After matching with Techstars we started to work on our Mentor Matching Machine, a web application to optimize the matching between mentors and companies. Our mission was to automate this process with a simple algorithm and a super minimalist interface to free up staff time from data entry to activities that add more value to the startups.

Minimalist Design

“Less is more” approach was fundamental in the UX/UI of the application. For the user interface were used ReactJS and CSS3. These technologies was selected because guarantee quickly rendering, facilitate advanced maintenance and boost productivity.

Optimal API

To manage the data and implement the matching algorithm a Rest API was built using ExpressJS and PostgreSQL. For email sending we used the Sendgrid SMTP service provider, this is one of the companies that Techstars works with.

Deployment

At first the deployment was done using Heroku since this is easy to use, allows to focus in code instead of infrastructure and enhance the productivity of development team, but later for performance reasons we decided to use DigitalOcean that is also a company from the Techstars program.

Challenges

At the beginning it was challenging for me to understand the big picture of the project and how all things connected each other using a language and environment that I did not know, but white-boarding came for rescue. Understanding and using Sequelize was also hard for me since there were a lot of functions pretty similar to others and select which to use took me some time, here was very useful to look at other API’s implementation using this ORM.

Conclusion

This project was a really amazing experience. I learnt a lot of things, not just technical ones, but also how to work in team and several things from my peers. I would like to thank them and the techstars tutors Camilo Morales and Heimer Rojas for their support.

If you want to get in touch with this project you can check it in these github repositories: BackendFrontend

Check our landing page here and access it from here

We are open for any recommendation or feedback. You can contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter

Thanks for reading !

Software Developer and Science lover always learning.

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