IT394 – IT395: Community Software Projects I and II
Perhaps the most valuable courses I’ve taken at DePaul were IT 394 and IT 395. These classes provided me with valuable experience of working with a real client, while working on an existing project that made a difference in the community. My group had the pleasure of working with Raffaella Settimi-Woods, who is an Associate Dean in the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM). My team chose me as the project lead and the main point of contact with the client. Throughout this two quarter class, our agile development team accomplished the task of redesigning the WordPress website for the DePaul Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, also referred to as DAMPA. Through this accomplishment, our agile team improved their overall web presence. The new site provides visitors with a clearer message about who the organization is, what they accomplish for faculty and students, as well as how to get involved.
The DePaul Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics brings together DePaul students and faculty. It is an educational research center that focuses on data science. They provide research and project opportunities for students through partnerships with industry, educational, and non-profit organizations, as well as other universities. DAMPA is a great networking opportunity for students, faculty, organizations, and anyone interested in data science. Members are able to connect and work on data science projects, providing them with exceptional real-world experience and improving their problem-solving skills. The DePaul Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics is located in the College of Computing and Digital Media and is run by a small group of CDM faculty.
To learn more about our process, please read my final writing assignment for these courses.
IT278: Community-Based Tech Projects
Redesign of SISTAH’s Website
Sisters in Sobriety Transformed Anointed & Healed (SISTAH) is an organization which encourages and equips women to improve their lives after suffering from substance abuse. Our team worked with this Chicago-based community organization and analyzed that they were having problems connecting to their target audience. Our goal was to make it easier for women in need to find SISTAH’s resources on their website.
For our group to accomplish our goal, we started by creating a needs analysis document, which helped us understand the issues the organization faced and information about their members. Our next step was to gather the wants and needs of our client (SISTAH) into a requirements document, which would help us organize the website’s content. Once we had a feel for the content, we developed prototypes to help us organize the layout of the website. Following the prototypes, we developed the website using WordPress. After the new website was developed, our group ran usability tests to gather an understanding of how we could improve the website.
Using WordPress, we were able to fix many of the problems that the previous website had, including outdated optimization, difficulty editing content, and limited amount of information.