October 05, 2023

MOSA Summer of Code | Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. If you haven’t already, read Part 1 and get up to speed with a full summary of Summer of Code, stories from featured projects and additional participant perspectives.

During the MOSA Summer of Code hackathon, presented by the MCIT Online Student Association (MOSA), our graduate students engaged with fellow classmates to build technical projects. The full list of winners and project details are available for review via the MOSA Summer of Code overview page. Several student participants offered their reflections on the hackathon and everything they’ve gained from the experience. Read on to learn more about the innovative projects they built and hear what they had to say about having the opportunity to advance their skills alongside their MCIT Online classmates.

Connor Fech
Current MCIT Online Student, Spring 2023 Cohort
Summer of Code Team: Civic Central

“During the MOSA summer of code event, Derek Chen, Prinsa Patel, Gunjan Jhaveri and I built Civics Central. This application is meant to provide the user information about local elections and representatives by querying the Google Civics Api. Taking inspiration from the Google homepage, our application aims to provide an intuitive user interface. The user enters their address on the homepage search bar to find their information. Additionally, we offer many other features such as a dark and light theme, responsive user interface, API response memoization, breakdown of the HTTP call history and a detailed technical breakdown of the application.

Collaborating over the summer was a great experience and opportunity to collaborate with other developers. We utilized React, MaterialUI and Vite to build our application and hosted with Google Firebase. Our team worked in a shared GitHub repo. We practiced a trunk-based development strategy to effectively and efficiently contribute to the codebase, while at the same time avoiding merge conflicts. This also allowed us to take advantage of GitHub’s built in features such as Issues, branches and merge requests. Throughout development, we were able to build documentation by mentioning the issue number in commit messages, which Git automatically links together.

Overall, working on this project provided valuable experience collaborating with other developers to reach a common goal. ” – Connor Fech

Theresa Hammer
Current MCIT Online Student, Fall 2021 Cohort
Summer of Code Team: Go Green

“… my team was working on an easy-to-use carbon tracker in the form of a webapp which we called GoGreen. The inspiration for this project was that we wanted to build something in the sustainability space and the fact that a lot of the carbon trackers out there can feel overwhelming due to very detailed information required at every step creating a barrier of entry for first-time users. Therefore, the goal was to make GoGreen easy to use by having clearly defined categories limited to the most important ones for personal daily use as well as providing educational resources and a dashboard for tracking progress, goals and overall performance.

The main goal for us personally was to get exposure to as many tools as possible including the planning and design process. This is why we used, for example, Figma for design and Postman for API testing. For the main project we made some trade-offs regarding this. Our team came into this project without any web development background and for most of us this was the first time building a full stack webapp, so while for the front end we learned, we decided to use flask for the backend since we were all familiar with Python and SQLite as an easy-to-use database.

I really enjoyed working together with my team although time zone differences sometimes made it tough … everyone was keen to contribute, and we were able to really benefit from this shared learning experience through weekly meetings and knowledge sharing. My biggest takeaway was that regular meetings all throughout the Summer, and having a clear plan, really helped us achieve what we were aiming for. As the next steps for this project, we would like to host it and build out the community aspects of it.” – Theresa Hammer

Shlomo Dahan
Current MCIT Online Student, Spring 2023 Cohort
Summer of Code Team: VeriCreds

“This summer, I had the chance to participate in the MOSA Summer of Code 2023 and dive into a project called “VeriCreds.” Our group, a mix of students with different skill levels, decided to explore blockchain technology for storing and verifying documents and credentials. It was a space where everyone’s thoughts were valued, and along the way, I made some great friends.

Working with a mix of technologies was a bit of a challenge. We were using Next.js and React for the frontend, Flask and MongoDB for the backend, and we also explored web3 technology through MetaMask. We all had different levels of experience with these tools, so there was a lot of learning on the go. This was when becoming proficient with GitHub became really important. It wasn’t just helpful for our project, but I also found myself sharing what I’d learned with classmates on other projects later on.

Juggling all the different pieces, working remotely, and finding a balance between differing ideas wasn’t always easy. But, we communicated well and stayed motivated, and that really paid off. One of the highlights was definitely when we found out we’d won the hackathon. That was a big moment for all of us and showed what we could achieve when we pulled together.

Looking ahead, we’re not done with VeriCreds. We’re planning to keep working on it until we have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and can make decisions about the next steps. The MOSA Summer of Code 2023 has been a really valuable experience for me, and I’m excited to see where it all leads in the future.” – Shlomo Dahan