Fredonia Computer Science students present software projects to Paychex

Marketing and Communications staff
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By Denise Joy

Fredonia students enrolled in CSIT 425: Software Engineering, taught by Computer and Information Sciences Lecturer Denise Joy, presented their software development projects to Paychex, a large software development company headquartered in Western New York, in a Webex session on Dec. 4.

Two teams of Computer Science students gained valuable real-world experience as part of a project they completed in the fall semester.

Paychex staff worked with students for the entire semester. Students were given the requirements document, and as a team they created a communication plan for the development of the software. This involved weekly progress meetings with project sponsors from Paychex and Ms. Joy.

“These meetings were a critical component to the success of the projects. The students received feedback each week on their progress. They were able to be a part of something being developed at a regional company,” Joy added.

The first team of students developed an application reporting tool. The goal of the project was to create an online reporting tool using open source software that allows a user to select the type of report and the search criteria they wish to view, then use a database query to return the appropriate data set and display that in a chart. The students – Tyler Harrison, Robert Hasselback, Curtis Heckman and Allyson Hinemen – worked with Doug Robison, Tim Holley and Jim Stover.

During the presentation, the students showed the technologies used in their application. The team managed the development workflow with GitHub and JIRA. They used ASP.NET Core as the web framework; this included working with JavaScript, HTML, CSS and C#. The charts were created with the Apex Charts.

The second team of students developed an availability model. The goal of the project was to develop an application that prompts an engineer for the component groups (application servers, web servers, databases, etc.), as well as the variables of each component group (rate of change, recovery time, resiliency) and then performs the necessary calculations to produce the expected potential uptime. Students – Nicholas DiBerardino, James Brennan, William Davis and Griffin Dombroske – worked with Bob Dickerson and Sean Caron from Paychex.

This team transferred the current modeling data and calculations from static spreadsheet tables into an interactive application where the user can interact with the database components to modify current models and create new models. This application was created in ASP.net and used C# to connect to a database.

“The students received feedback each week on their progress. They were able to be a part of something being developed at a regional company.” - Denise Joy

After each team’s presentation, students had an open discussion time where they successfully fielded questions about their development and what they learned overall.

“All of the students reiterated how much they learned and how valuable the experience was,” according to Joy,

Along with Joy, the Webex meeting was attended by Department of Computer and Information Sciences faculty, Junaid Zubairi, chair, and Syed Haider, assistant professor, Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Andy Karafa, Paychex project sponsors, project coordinator Andrea Brown and senior managers from Paychex that included Steve Bell, Donna Chapman, Craig Deisering, Josh Figler, Chad Lown, Nikki Roberts, Dan Sheehan, David Smith and Dave Wilson.

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