People of SU / Science, Technology and Health

Computer Science Team Wins First Place Student IT Architecture Competition

Written by Nathaniel Wu, ’22

July 6, 2021

Cover of students' PDF presentation that reads

Image credit: College of Science and Engineering

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Seattle University computer science students Ana Carolina De Souza Mendes,’21, and Carrie Schaden,’21, won first place for their Nudge Bud app at the 2021 IASA Global (An Association for All IT Architects) Student IT Architecture Competition (SITAC).

SITAC teams worked with mentors from prominent companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google from December to May to plan and execute their project idea. The projects tracked monthly deliverables focused on business considerations, the technical architectural solution and the proposed technology stack, culminating in a final presentation for a panel of judges on May 8, 2021.

Teams from Seattle U have won the first-place prize at SITAC in 2016 and 2018. This year’s winning team, De Souza Mendes and Schaden, discuss their project and experiences below:

Please describe your project.

De Souza Mendes: “Nudge Bud is an application that frees users from drowning in the digital world by giving them tools and customized incentives to reach their digital minimalist goals. Unlike other applications, Nudge Bud does not use a rewarding system, which is one of the root causes of digital addiction. Instead, Nudge Bud prompts the user to reflect on their digital usage and suggests activities that would be more beneficial.”

Schaden: “We opted for an event-oriented architecture with microservices, which enables us to easily add new features after our MVP release. Our microservices are independently deployable with automated rollback and incremental ramp up, so that we can continually respond to the latest customer feedback with confidence.”

Who was your industry mentor and how did you work with them on the project?

De Souza Mendes: “Our mentor was Samir Shilamkar, a technical program manager at Google. We would start by working on each deliverable by ourselves to better understand what was being asked and to build a draft. Then we would schedule an online meeting with Samir to go over clarifications and ask for advice. Before submitting the deliverables, we would have Samir conduct a final review.”

Schaden: “Samir really encouraged us to think about why we made the decisions we made and how to achieve an attractive MVP product. We constantly iterated on deliverables as a team and unearthed new questions and findings to develop the best designs.”

What do you want other students to know about computer science education at Seattle U?

De Souza Mendes: As a graduate student at Seattle U, I could easily tailor my curriculum to meet my career goals. We have a good mix of professors who have great experience in the industry and others who have great academic experience. It has also been stimulating to have peers who are as motivated to learn and apply our knowledge to solve problems. The CS department is a rich environment that promotes collaboration and intellectual growth.”

A PDF of their final presentation is available here. For more information about SITAC as well as highlights from past years, visit https://www.iitarch.org/.

Nathaniel Wu, ’22, is a graduate student in the computer science (CS) program and works as a web & communications assistant within the CS department.

 

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