For the past month at UIT we’ve been assigned to create an instant messaging web chat application. We started off brainstorming ideas for what features that our chat app would have and went over specific requirements needed for the chat app like: two third-party sign in providers (sign in with Facebook, Twitter, Github), mobile view responsive design, and of course, either instant chat messaging or direct messaging.

At the beginning, I wasn’t sure what theme my app should have. I like playing video games so I thought I could find a way for the chat app to be themed around the video games my friends and I play. I eventually chose to have different video game titles to be chat room channels and to also have a “news” portion of the app where it would show the newest gaming news to promote discussion within the app and also inform gamers who are too busy to be constantly checking Twitter and Reddit for gaming news.

As I worked on the chat app, I received a lot of help from the mentors, Eric Lortie and Rob Myers. The week of the deadline, I planned on coming into UIT to work on the app more with both Eric and Rob on the extra days where there was no class, but then it flooded in Cape Breton. Everywhere was wet, some roads were even closed. My family was nervous that we might return home to a flooded basement however luckily our house was undamaged by the water. After the water on the roads cleared, I planned on coming back to UIT to catch up on some missed time, due to floods of course, and to finish up my chat app. However, the same day I came back to UIT I caught a bad cold which kept me from going to UIT for extra help. Over the weekend I did try to work on it remotely with the help of Eric through Slack, but of course working while very sick isn’t very productive. So add sickness, a runny nose, a cup of “you have to meet this deadline” anxiety and you got a recipe for really horrible feelings. So I have to say the relief of seeing that the deadline was extended was, well simply put, relaxing.

So in the end, I learned that you should always be prepared for the worst as a flood and sickness can unexpectedly happen at any time. The process of making app was challenging but still quite manageable with the help of the mentors. For tips for future UIT students all I can say is that if you encountered a problem you’re definitely not the first person to encounter it and any issues that leave you scratching your head without a clue, the mentors can always help.

Finally, I did get the app fully finished by presentation time. I would still consider it a work in progress but the main features are there. You can view the app here:

https://spencergouthro.github.io/chatapp/

1 thought on “Making a Gaming Chat Application with special guest “Murphy’s Law”.”

Eric Lortie says:

Great breakdown of your experiences over the past couple weeks. It’s really important to recognize that when you’re scoping something out you need to add a little bit of extra time under the assumptions that Murphy’s Law will come into play and you’ll end up having to add to the development time. While record breaking rainfall and an ensuing flood is a somewhat less common example of this, it really did a great job of proving that point!


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