Seattle University Computer Science Team Places 1st at the 2021 IASA Student IT Architecture Competition

Photo of the SITAC 2021 Winners
Written by Nathaniel Wu
May 26, 2021

Team Members: Ana Carolina De Souza Mendes and Carrie Schaden

Mentor: Samir Shilamkar, Technical Program Manager at Google

Seattle University computer science students Ana Carolina De Souza Mendes and Carrie Schaden won 1st place for their Nudge Bud app at the 2021 IASA Student IT Architecture Competition (SITAC). SITAC teams worked with mentors from prominent companies like 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 8th.

Ana and Carrie were gracious enough to answer some questions about their project and their experiences at SITAC.

Could you please describe your project?

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. 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?

Our mentor was Samir Shilamkar, who is 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. Our mentor 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 CS education at SeattleU?

As a graduate student at Seattle University, I can 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 is also 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.

Congratulations to Ana and Carrie for their incredible accomplishment! Teams from Seattle University have won the 1st place prize at SITAC in 2016, 2018, and now once again in 2021. A PDF of their final presentation is available here: SITAC 2021 Presentation