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Bucket List

Bucket list is a single-page application that allows users to track goals they would like to achieve and experiences they would like to have in their lifetime.

Technologies Used

Bucket List is basically a MEAN (Mongo, Express, Angular, NodeJS) without the 'A' -- Angular.

The backend database is MongoDB, and the API server is a Node/Express application that enables CRUD and authorization functions.

In addition to that stack, we used the DataTables jQuery plugin.

The backend server is hosted on Heroku, and the front end is hosted on Github Pages. See below for links to deployed front and back end servers as well as links to front and back end repositories.


Approach to implementing CRUD and UI functions for bucket list items

We used the DataTables, a jQuery plugin that helps developers display and update table data. We chose it because it is widely used enough to be stable and well-supported, and it built-in extra features we would not have had time to implement, such as search and sort.

DataTables also has its own API. Because of this, we did not have a completely traditional approach to building a model/route/controller set to handle crud functions. For some of these functions, we were using the DataTables API to both get and set data a user sees when they log in.

We briefly considered having DataTables emit all of a user's bucket list items for each request and storing it as one big blob in Mongo, but ultimately we took a row-by-row approach where each bucket list item has an individual database record.

Development/Team Approach

We held daily standups in the morning to coordinate and divide tasks. To cut down on the chances of merge conflicts, we created long issue queues for the front and back end repositories. Each new feature branch was named after its issue, for example: issue#11. Referencing the issue in our commits and pull requests gave us a clear sense of which commits applied to which desired features and bugfixes. As an example, look at the following issue, a bugfix for the UI The issue clearly shows commits in progress towards solving the problem and documents the merge of the feature branch into development.

We used Slack extensively to communicate in the evenings when we weren't physically together. We might have been Slacking each other at 1AM a few times, but no team members will confirm or deny this.


Libraries giveth, and libraries take away. While DataTables significantly sped up the creation of our UI, we spent too much time struggling with an add-on to the library which would have allowed in-row editing of bucket list items.

Once we abandoned that approach, we took a more traditional approach, popping up a form to allow users to create and edit bucket list items.

Instructions for installing dependencies:

Clone this repository and run npm install. Install DataTables and its default styles at the command line:

npm install    # Core library
npm install # Styling

Bucket List Documentation: Bucket List Wiki

We have an extensive wiki documenting our approach to authorization, our API, checklists, and more. We would like to call out the following specific planning documents and documentation:

API Documentation

Link to API Documentation

User Stories

Link to User Stories

Entity Relationship Diagram

Link to Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)


Link to our wireframes

Links to Deployed Front and Back End

A link to the deployed front-end app A link to the repo for your back-end

Links to Front And Back End Repositories

A link to the front end repository A link to the back end repository


Bucket List was built by Alex Constantine, Eric Scace, and Lisa Williams as a team project undertaken during WDI18 at General Assembly Boston.