BSCS Capstone Highlight: PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler

In Every fall, senior and second year masters students participate in USF’s Computer Science Capstone course. The Capstone provides students with the opportunity to work on real-world projects with tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. The course results in the specification, design, and development of a significant software system and is presented at CS Night each year. Learn about one of the projects, the PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler, created by CS and Business Administration students: Jeremy Kerby, Cody Cole, Arseniy Novitsky, and Amanda Fimbres with mentorship from Richard Just of Twitter.

What inspired you to create PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler?
From the beginning of this course we sought a project that would challenge us. We wanted to get the most out of this Senior Project Capstone class. Our inspiration derived from a common effort to achieve. We wanted to do the best we could for both our sponsor, Twitter and ourselves. As the semester progressed, we were able to see how we could impact the future careers in the tech field ­and other fields, too.

What has Richard Just’s impact and influence been on the creation of PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler?
Working with Richard Just has been nothing short of a great experience. From the very beginning you could tell he had a strong passion for this project and working with people. He has also been extremely reachable and easy to access if one of our team members has a question. When working with Richard, he has always been extremely supportive, encourage, and helps us as a team find a solution to a problem we are facing. I can honestly say if you have
a chance to work with Richard as a sponsor or in your career you will be in for a fun, challenging time and will have a few laughs along the way.

What skills and tools have you used in your project?
We have been able to apply a variety of skill sets we have acquired at the University of San Francisco to this project. For computer science related course, CS 212 Software development taught provided us a variety of skills. We would like to acknowledge both professor Dr. Sophie Engle as well as Dr. Sammi Rollins, who have taught us this course, for providing the knowledge and experiences we have been adopting into this senior team project. Software
development is a course that is absolutely fundamental to your academic and professional career. Outside of computer science, a general education course has also proved to be important to us. This course is public speaking. This course provided us the knowledge on how to work on presentations and prepare us for many of the presentations we have to do in this Senior Team Project course. Students should be aware that this senior team course is not just about computer science but also involves, team based work, and numerous presentations throughout the semester.

Have you developed new skills while working on this project?
During this project we were able to develop new skills. First, this course is the first real time we get to work as a team on projects. This exposes us to such things as managing tasks, having responsibilities, and working with other people. In addition, we were exposed to more complex data then we have seen before. This project has given us real-world hands on experience on problems we will likely face later in our careers.

What has been one of the biggest surprises?
There have been without a doubt a variety of surprises along the way during this project. When we were assigned this project, we were given an idea to implement and zero lines of code. Thanks to Jeremy’s leadership; assigning team responsibilities and tasks and love for handling data, Cody’s creativity; developing the user interface users will interact with, and Arseniy’s; can do attitude taking on challenging tasks when working with the PagerDuty API, we have been able to take this project from nothing to a functional tool that others will be able to utilize and contribute to in the future. We were very surprised to discover the discrepancy in our test cases versus the actual running scenario. The real life dataset from our sponsor, Twitter, was exponentially larger and more complex than what we created originally. Suddenly, we were faced with the obstacles of a real dataset with limited access that contained sensitive data.

What do you hope the impact of your project will be?
This project helps improve the organizational flow of teams along all sorts of businesses, such as engineering teams, non­profit organizations, hospitals and many more. The way a team manages its members is crucial to member happiness and productivity as a unit. We hope this tool can improve the efficiency, work­flow, and work life of people who work in a team based Environment.

What steps do you have to bring PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler to other corporations? In addition to the engineers on this team, we also are working with one business student Amanda. She is leading the way of developing our business value proposition as well as help with relations with other companies. Ideally, after we finish meeting the requirements with our sponsor Twitter, we would like to set out and network with other companies and showcase the tool we are developing.

PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler is one of the many innovated systems and software created by University of San Francisco students. If you wish to find out more about PagerDuty Rotation Scheduler and other projects, please attend the 2017 CS Night.