I just got back from my first backpacking trip! I’m an avid hiker but I had not backpacked until this past weekend. We went on the North Country Trail, which is the longest trail in the US at 4800 miles. It spans from New York to North Dakota. We did a small section that crosses through Moraine State Park, and spent the night in a backpacking shelter with the company of wolf spiders. The most challenging part was the heat and humidity, as it’s over 90 and extremely humid in Pittsburgh right now! I was warned that I wouldn’t get much sleep, so that was a challenge, but an expected one. Thankfully my toddler slept through the night last night, so I was able to get a good night’s sleep!
Back to reality today. The whole point of me learning to code is so that I can code my app idea. What is it, you ask? Come over here and sign my NDA. Only kidding. It’s no secret, and that’s because no one has the same passion for YOUR idea that you do. I think of ideas constantly and the only ones that have any value are the ones that are executed upon. So if you have a “million dollar idea” I challenge you to actually take some action to bring it to fruition, otherwise, it is worthless.
My idea is for an app that connects outdoor enthusiasts. I’ve gone on so many hikes over the past year…alone. I would have loved to have someone to hike with, but I don’t know how to find them. I’d like to be able to say: “I’m in Sedona, Arizona until April 30. I can hike on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5-7 PM. I enjoy moderate to difficult hikes.” then I’d be matched with other people who’s schedules, abilities, and interests fit with mine.
I’d like to make this available for a host of outdoor activities – running, climbing, kayaking, biking, etc, but the idea was born from hiking.
I’ve spent the past few years of my career as a business analyst (BA). A BA is someone who translates the business needs of the company into software requirements. We basically speak both the language of the business + the language of the developers, and can easily go between the two. We take big problems and divide them into really small chunks of work that developers can work on and show progress on within a sprint. So the majority of the job is fully understanding the needs of the business then dividing that work up (and fleshing out lots of details) so that the developers can work on it in bite size pieces.
Since I have so much experience doing this, it only makes sense that I’m starting to think about taking my app idea and breaking it down into workable chunks. As a corporate BA, I’d do this in a much more formal process and try to iron out as many details as I could ahead of time, recognizing that a lot of details can’t be thought of until development begins. I always did my best, though. This time around, I’m keeping my user stories very high level, and just jotting down bullet points/questions underneath each one. After all, I’m going to be the developer on this project!
Here’s what I have so far:
- As a user, I want to add my availability for an activity so that others can join me.
- Choose Activity
- Add Location (radius)
- Add Availability
- Days of the week
- Date Range
- As an admin, I want to add activities so that people can be active with others.
3. As a user, I want to be matched with others who are interested in the same activities so that I can meet up with them.
- Match based on activity preference, days, and times free
- As a user, I want to be able to communicate with those I am matched with, so we can decide on a specific location and date/time.
- Changing it once it’s decided on
5. As a user, I want to view activity meetups that already exist, so I can join them if they fit my schedule and interests
- Match on interest/availability, or allow general browse?
This is super high level and was accomplished in about 15 minutes. It’s not the end-all-be-all for my app by any means, but I wanted to share how you can break down a high level idea into smaller pieces.