Developing For The Developers
At the end of Lambda School each student goes through Labs, a unit where you work with a company to develop some website or tool that they need made. For me the company I worked with was Lambda School itself. Lambda’s graduates have a need for a platform designed specifically with them in mind, a platform where graduates of Lambda can share their thoughts, issues, and questions with each other after they have gone out into the professional world. To remedy this issue Lambda has decided to create the Lambda Alumni Network (LAN) and they decided that nobody would be better to develop a website for Lambda Graduates than students who are about to graduate. At first I was a bit intimidated as we were essentially asked to build a social media platform that only programmers would be using, however this fear was quickly laid to rest once we started planning out the project.
Problems For The Programmers
The basic structure of the website that has been built may seem familiar to those who use reddit. Similar to reddit there are multiple rooms, in which people make there posts, which users can comment on. The website also has several other key features that you would expect such as upvoting posts, editing your posts, and moderation. Each of these features was a unique challenge for the team to implement and some had unique solutions put in place to achieve their goals.
The feature that was the most unique in how it challenged the developers was the moderation. The moderation was difficult due to the fact that it had multiple stages that were necessary to insure it worked smoothly. First a user would have to flag a post or comment as being inappropriate, then a moderator or admin of the website could view the flagged post and either clear the flag or remove the post. When removing a post it is good to note that the post is not actually deleted from the server it is archived and still stored despite the fact that users will no longer be able to see it.
My Contribution was in the moderation. I helped to build endpoints on the back end that would allow moderation of the posts and comments. I found this to be a very useful exercise in problem solving due to the fact that we couldn’t simply delete the posts and comments but that we had to archive them instead which lead to us needing to find a way to make sure that archived posts didn’t show to the users and that once it has been reviewed by a moderator, whether it was archived or not, it would not continue to show as needing to be moderated.
Currently the website is having a little bit of trouble with its deployed version that is preventing the page from loading. This problem will of course be remedied by the next lab team to carry the torch once our team is gone. Once this is taken care of the website is currently in the form of what many would consider a bare-bones version of a social media platform, featuring key features such as posting, upvoting, commenting, and moderation.
In the future there will be need for further features to be developed. Some potential features may include: the ability to upload images, automated moderation of vulgar language, or the ability to directly message a specific user. These features will likely come in a future release of this project. I can see challenges in store for future developers such as being able to upload images. This is something that is not taught by the lessons of lambda school and may be a challenge for any developers that want to take on this task.
During this project I was not very communicative with my peers and due to this I did not get any feedback from them, however this itself is something that serves as important feedback that I need to force myself to communicate with my peers better. This will help make sure there are no communication problems between me and other members as well as help the team feel more comfortable near me. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked on this project. This project has helped me to have better problem solving capabilities as well as helped me to understand where I am lacking when it comes to teamwork. These two things together to me proves that labs was a valuable experience that will help me in my future professional endeavors.