What's Cookin - Part 2!

Goals and Objectives

  • Work with a local server and make network requests to API endpoints to retrieve and manipulate data.
  • Ensure your app follows best practices for accessibility
  • Practice talking about your code and high level technical concepts
  • Implement feedback from a usability test to improve product
  • Improve group workflow.

In this project, you will use your project from What’s Cookin’ (Part 1) and build on top of that. This is an opportunity to refactor your code, utilize agile processes, complete unfinished work, build new features, and take advantage of instructor feedback.

These are all aspects of your future job. Code is important, but process allows for great applications to be built. This part of the project focuses heavily on process so that you have an opportunity to talk about process in your future interviews.


Dates and deliverables to be aware of:

  • Tuesday of Week 4 - Project kickoff
    • Perform your retrospective and DM your instructor project manager two things from your retrospective (see below for details) that you want to keep doing and two things that you want to improve on as a group heading into Part 2.
    • DM your instructors your “definition of done” for your track.
  • Monday of Week 5 - Project due
  • Tuesday of Week 5 - Project evaluations (presentation and interview questions)
    • Instead of submitting code in-depth review, you’ll be giving a presentation about your process and how you implemented your track’s features as well as answering a couple interview-style questions.

Daily Check-Ins

Every work day, your group should do a check-in as a whole group, preferably live over Zoom, and discuss at least these things:

  • What is the state of the project so far? (update your GitHub project board if necessary)
  • What is each person working on today?
  • Are there any blockers, and what is your plan to get through the blockers?

Your daily check-in schedule (sometimes called “stand-ups”) should be outline in your DTR so the whole group is aware of the meeting.


A retrospective (retro) is a look back at the recent development period, in this case, Part 1 of the project, in order to improve future development process and workflow as a team. For your retrospective, meet with your team to discuss the following questions:

  • What helped you to be successful as a team?
  • What caused the problems that you had in Part 1? For example: When we got stuck, how long did we grind before reaching out for help?
  • Were daily check-ins productive and helpful? If not, what would you change?
  • What questions do we have about Part 2 of the project?
  • Is there anything we should change in our DTR?

When you’ve finished your retro, DM your project manager two things from your retrospective that you want to keep doing and two things that you want to improve on as a group heading into Part 2.

Iteration 4 - Applying Instructor Feedback from Part 1

  • Implement instructor feedback from Part 1. Be sure to ask your instructor about any clarifying questions you have about feedback.
  • Consider any additional refactoring opportunities:
    • Identify redundant code in your classes and opportunities for DRYing it up
    • Refactor within your classes to create dynamic methods that use arguments/parameters for changing their behavior.

Catching Up on Functionality

You must complete all of the remaining user stories from the What’s Cookin Part 1 Spec. If you did not finish parts of the original requirements, this is your chance to revisit and finish all of the functionality. In addition to the Part 1 requirements you must also implement your instructor’s feedback and add “Iteration Five” and “Iteration Six”.

Iteration 5 - POST

Goal: Use a POST request to save the recipes that a user wants to cook (favorite) to the local API. That way when the page is refreshed, the user can still see their favorited recipe(s). The documentation for the API is outlined below.

Note: Being able to do a DELETE request is not a requirement for this project. So to delete a user’s favorite recipes, you can reset the data on the local server by restarting the local server on your machine. Do not worry about “un-favoriting” a recipe via a DELETE request; restart the API server instead.


You will no longer receive your data from the deployed API. Instead, you’ll use the fetch API to access the application data from a local server.

Your GET requests should not change very much, but you will need to clone down the repo for the local server, perform the setup, and run it in a separate tab in your terminal each time you run your client (app). The endpoint documentation is available below.

Why this change?

Everyone was using the same exact endpoints for Part 1. This is typically how things work, but can cause some headaches during projects when implementing types of requests other than GET. In this part of the project, you will start making POST requests. Creating a local server instead of using the hosted (deployed) one, gives everyone their own version of the APIs and decreases an overload of new data getting sent.

Hold Off on async/await

The expectation for Mod 2 is that you will avoid using async/await. We know async/await is tempting, but it is important that you are able to work with .then() and .catch() that pre-dates the introduction of async/await.

Also, for POST requests, your request will need a header of Content-Type: application/json.

API Endpoints

Description URL Method Required Properties for Request Sample Successful Response
Get all users http://localhost:3001/api/v1/users GET none An array containing all users
Get all ingredients http://localhost:3001/api/v1/ingredients GET none An array containing all ingredients
Get all recipes http://localhost:3001/api/v1/recipes GET none An array containing all recipes
Add recipe to cook for a user http://localhost:3001/api/v1/usersRecipes POST { userID: <number>, recipeID: <number> } { message: “Recipe #<recipeID> was added for User #<userID>” }

Error Handling

Make proper error handling for your users to ensure they know if the GET or POST requests have been submitted successfully. An example is handling the case where they submit a request and an error message returns from the request. How would you show helpful feedback to a user?

Iteration 6 - Differentiation Tracks

Instructors will assign each team one of these tracks to work through.

  • The user wants to be able to decide what to make based on the cost of the recipe.
  • Users often print out recipes, but they don’t want to waste ink and paper. How can we give them a print layout with only the information they need for a single recipe?
  • We’re getting a lot of international users these days, and they don’t know how much a dollar is exactly. We need to give them a way to convert the cost of a recipe into their own currency.
  • Sometimes a user doesn’t want to have to search through all the recipes when they come to the site. They want to see some featured recipes on the main page to help them make a quick decision.
  • Users want to plan a party using recipes from the app. After the party is planned, they need a grocery list to be able to make sure they have everything they need.
  • Give the users a way to remember if a recipe was good or not (this does not have to be saved on refresh, but it’s a nice bonus).
  • The admin of the site wants a way to see which recipes are getting the most hits (clicks). Give them some kind of tracking information that the admin can find.

Usability Testing

As developers, we can get so accustomed to the features we create that we forget that users don’t have any background or know how to use a feature for the first time. That’s why it’s important to observe unbiased users try out your features and see where they succeed or have trouble. These observations are called usability tests.

Once your track’s feature is at a point where it’s usable and ready for some feedback, but before you think everything is finalized, that’s the right time to perform the usability test for the track’s feature.

Your group will create a usability test for another group to go through. Here is the process:

  1. Ask someone from another project group to be the tester (participant)
  2. Schedule a time to do the usability test with the participant
  3. Create a script for the usability test
    1. Decide what you are trying to learn from the usability test (can a user do [blank]? can a user find [blank] and know how to use it? do they notice [blank] information on the page?).
    2. Write step-by-step instructions for the participant doing the usability test to follow as you observe them.
    3. After the observation is done, prepare a few questions to ask the participant about how they felt while they were trying the feature.
    4. The usability test should not last for more than 30 minutes
  4. Perform the test and take notes
  5. Incorporate any valuable feedback into your application

You want to give the participant a specific task, but also balance that specificity with letting them try to find out how to do something. Try not to ask them leading questions like, “What was the source of your navigational difficulties?” This question assumes that the user had difficulties and that the difficulties came from software, specifically “navigation”. Instead, you could ask “What has been your experience with this application?”

Once your usability test is complete, incorporate any useful and interesting feedback into your application. This is a feedback cycle that would ordinarily happen many times in your future job to improve your application.


  • You must be able to tab through your app and use it without a mouse
  • Your app must still be usable when tested with a colorblind extension
  • You must score as close to 100% as possible with the “Lighthouse Accessibility Audit”. Be prepared to explain any accessibility audits your application is failing.
  • Your HTML must be written semantically and should use ARIA tags (ONLY if needed / appropriate)

Project Requirements Rubric

Functional Expectations

  • 4: Application fulfills all iteration requirements, without bugs, and the user experience is intuitive and consistent.
  • 3: Application fulfills all iteration requirements, including implementing feedback from Part 1 and feedback from the usability test.
  • 2: Application is usable but has some missing functionality.
  • 1: Application crashes during normal usage or does not run.


  • 4: Application covers all aspects of the application including various flows and covers both happy/sad paths. Tests must be passing to be considered.
  • 3: Application is well tested but fails to cover some features and only tests for happy paths. Tests use smaller, sample data files as input rather than the large, original data files. Some use of beforeEach to DRY up tests. Tests must be passing to be considered.
  • 2: Project has sporadic use of tests at multiple levels. The application contains numerous holes in testing and some tests do not reflect changes made to implementation. No use of beforeEach to DRY up tests. Tests must be passing to be considered.
  • 1: Tests have not been updated to reflect changes made in refactor. There is not enough test coverage, and some tests might be failing.


  • 4: Has an audit score of 100% and has gone above and beyond accessibility requirements (see extensions).
  • 3: All accessibility areas have been considered and tested. An accessibility audit with a score of at least 95%.
  • 2: One accessibility area has not been tested or considered. This may be: an accessibility audit with a score of 94% or lower, errors with color contrast when checking via a colorblind extension, app is not tab-able, large use of non-semantic HTML.
  • 1: Two or more accessibility areas have not been tested or considered. This may be: an accessibility audit with a score of 80% or lower, errors with color contrast when checking via a colorblind extension, app is not tab-able, large use of non-semantic HTML.

JavaScript Refactoring

  • 4: Application demonstrates excellent knowledge of JavaScript syntax, style, and refactoring. Excellent usage of fetch and updates DOM based on results of network requests. Handles all scenarios for error handling.
  • 3: Class methods use array and object prototypes - for loops are not used in the application. Application shows strong effort towards organization, content, and refactoring. Great usage of fetch and updates DOM based on results in most scenarios, but may update DOM before a network request is complete. Handles some scenarios for error handling.
  • 2: Class methods use a mix of array and object prototypes and for loops. Application runs but the code has long methods, unnecessary or poorly named variables, and needs significant refactoring. Uses fetch effectively for GET but does not implement POST. Has zero error handling and only logs errors if a network request fails.
  • 1: Application generates syntax errors or crashes during execution.

Minimum Professionalism Expectations

  • Team collaborates effectively. Team holds daily check-ins throughout project.
  • Commits are atomic and frequent, effectively documenting the evolution/progression of the application. There is no more than a 10% disparity in project contributions between teammates.
  • The Project Board is utilized (and updated) with Github issues and labels.
  • Developer uses PRs from feature branches before adding new code to the main branch.
  • The README is formatted well and at a minimum contains:
    • Overview of project and goals
    • Overview of technologies used, challenges, wins, and any other reflections
    • Screenshots/GIFs of your app



Part of your future interviews will be talking about your application, code, and decision process as a developer, and this presentation is great practice for that situation. Your group’s presentation should have slides that include:

  • What was your track?
  • Given the vague track feature goal, what was your process like to go from idea to code to finished product?
  • What was challenging about your track?
  • What work were you proud of from your track?
  • What did you observe during the usability test, and did you change anything about your application?
  • How close were your time estimations for certain tasks? Did you overestimate or underestimate, and what do you think the cause was of the difference?

Aim for the presentation to take about 10 minutes.

Interview Questions

As a group, you will respond to high-level technical questions, interview-style. These questions will all relate to the work you’ve done on this project. For example, “Describe what a POST request is and why we might perform one.”

Individually, you will be asked a question at random to respond to. You must give an attempt at responding to it before passing it off to a group member if you’re unsure. Imagine you don’t know the answer to a question on a technical interview, you won’t simply say “I don’t know”. Will you try to take an educated guess? Will you say you’re unsure? Will you try to explain by example?

If the evaluator is left wanting a bit more from your response, they may choose to continue to ask a follow-up question to you - or they may open it up to volunteers in the group to assist.

If you get a question wrong, it will not count against you! This is really all about getting some practice answering interview-style questions.

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