During the pandemic…hundredths of academic opportunities have migrated towards digitalization. However, academic and internship opportunities in Latinamerica are published across hundreths of platforms, which makes it very time consuming to find opportunities that interest students. Furthermore, finding internships and laboral opportunities in Latinamerica is getting even harder during pandemic, in a region that already has a huge youth unemployment rate and an astonishing staff turnover rate. The solution is Dook, a mobile application that can provide instant access to hundredths of internship opportunities in industry an academy, making this solution a part of revitalizing communities while also providing a smooth transition towards opportunities that can keep students engaged in learning. Our solution is unique in two main things, how we achieve an organized and centralized offer and our focus in opportunities for High School and College students interested in STEM areas in Latinamerica. We also used Adobe xd to develop the application and logo design.
The Ionic Framework was used to develop the webapp, since this allows us to publish the application for both Android and iOS devices. Furthermore, as shown in the pitch video demo, the application is updated in realtime; this is done by using firebase as an online hosting service, we built a database in this hosting service to store the data from the user and the opportunities. In order to recommend opportunities to the user, we use Watson from IBM for adding a machine learning functionality. Specifically we use the Personality Insights service to make a matching backend program that recommends students opportunities based on their interests.
There were two main challenges that we faced. First, it was a logistic challenge to be working by distance since one of the team members is from México and the other is from Spain. The second challenge was a technical one, since we did not know how to link the Ionic framework (where the app is programmed) with Firebase (where the user and project database is hosted). We solved this by reading documentation on firebase and finally achieved a realtime connection between the app front end and the firebase backend.
We are proud of pushing ourselves to incorporate techniques such as machine learning in our app, it was an idea we had at the beginning of the weekend but we did not know how to incorporate Watson IBM services into the application. It was a great accomplishment to link Watson with firebase in order to present a function matching algorithm prototype.
Besides the technical skills acquired that allowed us to overcome the aforementioned challenges, we learned a lot from the seminars in terms of how to present our idea.
The next step is to develop a controlled alfa test by using GooglePlay Alfa testing, this will enable us to find the bugs in the application. Once this is done, we will do a beta test in our university by helping students find academic and research opportunities during summer. We have already contacted our school directors and they have agreed on helping us promote the platform so that we can develop the beta test.