The time is mid-November 2020, and I had just finished tidying up my portfolio and projects in preparation for the job search after graduating App Academy’s coding bootcamp a month prior. During the last 5 of the 16 weeks, we got to work on 3 projects; 1 group and 2 individual ones. Our first project was an individual project, and we were tasked with building a full-stack clone of another site. I did YouTube. The second project was the group project and I don’t think anyone on my team was that invested in building something crazy in just one week so we made something simple, a site to show you places to vote at in your local area. The last project was my favorite because this one was individual AND we could build anything that we wanted.
I knew I definitely wanted to do something gaming related. This made the choice easy for me because the game I played the most around that time was PUBG, and there’s a site called pubg.report that I used a lot that allowed you to see the real-time reaction of twitch streamers you killed or that killed you during a game. I was so fascinated by Vlad & Mark, the creators, execution and how they were able to make the app work, that I set out to figure out how they did it. After a weekend and a couple of days into the start of the week allotted to us for the last project, I finally ended being able to figure out the how and was able to have a finished project that achieved the vision I wanted going into our last week in the bootcamp. It was also during this last project that I knew, “this is it”. This is what I wanted to do everyday for the rest of my life; just build projects. So much so that I neglected DS&A (Data Structures & Algorithms) as much as I could so that I could come up and work on another idea while searching for a job.
And so, it was during this time that I came up with the idea for lookn.for.group. I do a lot of things by myself but sometimes, just sometimes, it’d be nice to find someone or some people to do them with. I tried using some apps and websites out there meant to solve this problem but none of them had the user experience nor the execution I was looking for to just spontaneously find something to do with other people whenever I wanted. Not to mention, I kept seeing the same repeated complaints and low-star reviews for these apps in the app stores, so it was clear that I wasn’t the only one that wanted a better solution.
So, like a lot of engineers out there who get tired of poorly executed products and decide to build their own, I decided to do the same. From the name, lookn.for.group, to the design of the posts, to the naming conventions for a lot of features in the app, I took all my inspiration from Looking For Group, an Xbox feature that allows gamers to create/browse posts to find other gamers to play games with.
I didn’t start working on lookn.for.group right away though. Interviews, holidays and then finally getting a job had me put lookn.for.group on the back-burner. Fast-forward almost two years later to October 2022, and I decide to start working on lookn.for.group again but to see it through this time, working on it some nights after work and full-time on the weekends. Then April 2023, 6 months later, I feel like I’m not making the progress that I would like to be making on it/it’s taking too long, so I leave my job so that I can work on it full-time.
And now, 5 months later, September 2023, here we are. Here to show the big guys that it shouldn't be so complicated to provide a greatly executed solution that solves a problem as simple as this one. Here to show that it is indeed possible to build something that gives the people what they want. Let’s see if we can do this right. Think different.