Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

SponsorshipPortal Build Status

Getting Started

You must have a working Go and Node.js installation in order to run this project.

If you are new to developing with tools (or new in general), consider installing with your system's package manager when possible. Please ensure your language and runtime versions match the ones below.

  1. go version 1.9 [install] - For running the webserver for the backend Make sure you have a GOHOME directory set up
  2. dep - Dependency manager for go - install with go get -u after go is working
  3. Node.js version 8.9.4 [download] - Used to build and run the frontend in development
  4. yarn [install] - Dependency manager for Node.js (use npm at your own risk!)
  5. Postgres - Relational database used as our primary datastore

Optional: If you are working on the backend, install gin (go get for live-reloading capabilities.

On MacOS (with homebrew)

This is a (semi-opinionated) guide to getting started with these tools and languages on MacOS.

"Package managers are great! Use them!" - Andrew Dai Feb 15 2018

To follow along, setup homebrew if you have not already. We will be installing all the tools in the previous section with brew or another package/version manager whenever possible.

# Install go with homebrew
brew install go
# You might need to setup certain environment variables for go to work.
# Do that now.
# See go's install documentation
# (and also look for resources for go with homebrew and MacOS)

# Install the dep dependency manager for go
go get -u
# (Optional tool for backend development)
go get

# Check if dep was installed properly (and your go setup)
dep version # Outputs the version and build information

# Install n, a node version manager
brew install n

# Install Node.js 8.9.4 (currently LTS version we are using)
n 8.9.4

# Install yarn with homebrew
brew install yarn --without-node

# Install with homebrew cask (open the App)
brew cask install postgres
# Find and open the Postgres app in your Applications folder

n is a version manager for Node.js and makes it very easy to switch versions painlessly. It is highly recommended to use a tool like this to install and run different versions of Node.js. For example, n 8.9.4 installs Node.js version 8.9.4 and sets it as the current version. You can confirm with node --version.

Note: go env is very helpful in debugging go environment variables.


Get the source code:

go get

You may get an error no buildable Go source files; this is harmless.

For development work run the frontend and backend separately.

Install dependencies

Install frontend dependencies:

# from project root
cd client

Install backend dependencies:

# from project root
dep ensure



Make sure that PG_URL contains the connection string SponsorshipPortal will use to connect to Postgres.

NOTE: The golang library lib/pq's sslmode defaults to require which may cause issues if you do not have SSL configured. This may not be an issue on localhost.


# connect as default user (`postgres`) to default database with sslmode disabled
export PG_URL="postgres://postgres@localhost:5432/?sslmode=disable"

# connect as `portal` user with password `secret`
# to `dev` database with ssl disabled
export PG_URL="postgres://portal:secret@localhost:5432/dev?sslmode=disable"

# same connection as above in an alternate form
# (this will work but not be parsed correctly by `config/config.go`)
export PG_URL="host=localhost port=5432 user=portal password=secret sslmode=disable"

More information and examples on Postgres docs

Generate ECDSA Key Pair

The backend is currently configured to use secp521r1. First, download and install OpenSSL if you do not already have it (most flavors of Linux come with OpenSSL): sudo apt install openssl

Navigate to your working directory for the SponsorshipPortal and generate your secp521r1 key pair:

openssl ecparam -name secp521r1 -out secp521r1.pem
openssl ecparam -in secp521r1.pem -genkey -noout -out ecprivatekey.pem
openssl ec -in ecprivatekey.pem -pubout -out ecpublickey.pem

Once you have your key pair, set the EC_PRIVATE_KEY and EC_PUBLIC_KEY environment variables to the contents of ecprivatekey.pem and ecpublickey.pem respectively.

Start the app!

Run the database migrations (see migrations/ for more info)

go run main.go --migrate
# or if you do not want to set PG_URL for the current session
PG_URL="<connection string>" go run main.go --migrate

Start the backend

# from project root
go run main.go
# if you are working on the backend and have gin installed
# (go get
gin run main.go

# or set PG_URL for the command and run
PG_URL="<connection string>" go run main.go
# also works with `gin`
PG_URL="<connection string>" gin run main.go

Then, in a new shell, start the frontend and navigate to localhost:8500.

# from project root
cd frontend
npm start

Building and running

Build the front-end

# build frontend
# from project root...
cd frontend
npm run build

Build and run the server

# build backend
# from project root...
go build .

# set connection string
# run migrations and start server
export PG_URL="<connection string>"
./SponsorshipPortal --migrate


The frontend is a standard React ( app with Redux for state management.

The application is written in go and heavily utilizes the standard library (net/http and database/sql) as well as packages from the gorilla web toolkit (mux).

If you are working only on the backend or the frontend, you can build (and start) the other part and leave it running while you do your development. Example: build the frontend and then build and run the backend with gin's live reloads. See above instructions on how to build each part.

Code Layout

The directory structure:

main.go           Boot script for the server
routes.go         Register non-controller routes go here
server.go         Initialize server and setup components

config/           App server config package

controllers/      App controllers go here
    controller.go Root controller, register other controllers here

database/         Utility package for initializing a database connection from config

logger/           Utility package for initializing a logger from loaded config

models/           App models go here

migrations/       Database migrations (sql scripts) go here

client/           Front-end project root
    src/          Source code for React app
    static/       Public static assets - this is not used in development
    node_modules/ Dependencies, do not edit this directory - managed by yarn

vendor/           Dependencies, do not edit this directory - managed by dep


[in development] Web interface for sponsors to view participant information. Integrates with HackGT/registration





No releases published


No packages published