May Newsletter

May Newsletter

~Greetings from Pawtify!~

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France

Happy Caturday everybody! Emma and I are so happy to keep you up-to-date on our progress. I hope you are enjoying this lovely day. Its been a month since the last newsletter and much has happened. Unfortunately what hasn't happened is getting to see anyone face-to-face. Yet, we are doing our best to be resilient and we use Zoom to communicate with eachother just about every other day. So we are blessed to still be able to check-in visually and not just audibly. Just to start, yesterday Emma and I gave a presentation to our stakeholders via Webex; where we met with several people including but not limited to Craig Hopkins, Thomas Davis, Joyce Deuley, Eileen Weidner, Charles Woodin, and Phillip Hernandez. Here we presented on our accomplishments for the first quarter of the Incubator program. For those that weren't able to come be present at our presentation, this newsletter is going to provide you with a brief overview:

Pawtify is a notification system designed to match people with pets. We are working to design the perfect application that makes finding an ACS pet much easier and convenient. Sometimes people have a hard time finding the perfect rescue animal when you go to the shelter. The goal is to insure that those who want to rescue a pet, find what they are looking for by creating a pawtification that will notify them via text or email when their forever friend has been registered into the ACS shelter. Our hope is to have less animals in shelters and more animals in homes.

A lot of wonderful things have happened this quarter, from the launch event, to Emma being on the National League of Cities Panel, to meeting with Lisa Hurst for a workshop on communication, we have really enjoyed the adventure the incubator has provided for us thus far. In our most recent workshop we learned about Event-storming from Dirk Elmendorf, Natalie Karney and Drew Hicks. We used Miro, a online collaborative whiteboard platform, which helped us walk through the customer experience on our application and find the weaknesses and strengths of what we have envisioned thus far. This is a great tool used for organizing the big picture of developing a solid application. Not only was the workshop fun but we were able to expand our skills and knowledge on developing Pawtify in a meaningful way. Here is a photo of what using Miro looks like and how you use sticky notes to develop a linear order of operations using the orange notes and then review your concept and find areas were you can improve or dive deeper and place pink notes to create to-dos.

Meeting with Mentors has been not just a wonderful way to overcome social distancing but we have been able to acquire valuable knowledge and information from the mentors. We have had seven Zoom meet-ups our quarter and these lovely folks supplied us with tools to expand more in our technology development and marketing.

We are excited about all the marketing and PR we've been able to accomplish and look forward to seeing our virtual community efforts blossom. As we get closer to having a working application, we want to turn to our community for help in alpha and beta testing and look forward to the collective support of moving this project forward for the ACS.



In regards to our solution development during quarter I, Emma focused on identifying a more scalable tech stack, designing the architecture of the platform and making sure we follow good development practices by implementing testing early on.

In terms of our platform infrastructure, we decided to implement docker to make deployments to our development and production environments much faster and easier. We are using GitLab as our issue tracking, source code manager and CI implementation tool. This provides us a more robust, one spot to go to for all things solution development. GitLab is also where we are going to keep our technical documentation. We used Twilio in CodeUp, when we build our original prototype, and will be sticking with the Twilio API for the text message and email notification functionality. Twilio is simple and efficient to implement. Originally, in Codeup our first platform was developed using Java, Javascript and MySql. Originally, for our grant, Emma thought she was going to create the platform in Postgres, Ruby on Rails and React. However, upon further research, Emma made the decision to use MongoDB as the database for this version of Pawtify instead of PostgresQL because Mongo will help us handle large amounts of data faster and with more flexibility. For example, the use of MongoDb will help our matching functionality be more versatile and fast. Emma also switched Ruby on Rails for Node.js because she knows it will be more scalable for this platform and down the road serve us more effectively. Emma stuck with using GraphQl as an api layer between the backend and the frontend to ensure that developing the frontend is simple. Keeping functionality and logic in the backend and using a simple end point for the frontend to fetch data from is a development strategy Emma used in the past to make frontend development easy. In addition, using React will also help us more easily transition this web application into a mobile app in the future. We are excited to have a frontend and a backend developer to help propel us forward through our deadlines and keep on target with finishing develop Pawtify during the Incubator program.

Moving forward in quarter two we have a full of tasks to accomplish and we are well on our way to moving through those tasks. We look forward to connect again with the ACS and update them of our progress. We are continuing to meet with mentors and gave more knowledge about business and technology development. Our next workshop that we will be attending is on May 23 where we will learn about Project and Time Management. 

Thank you so much for staying up-to-date with our progress. We look forward to connecting with some of you during this second quarter of the Incubator program. Have a great weekend!


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