The Academic Support Resources (ASR) Web Team juggles many different tasks and projects, but they do it so seamlessly that you would never guess the amount of work they actually do. They are responsible for supporting a wide variety of business processes across ASR, from helping students search for scholarships and approving graduate committees, to consulting with One Stop on how to expand their queue management.
From left to right: Erik Eklund, Joe Goggins, Chris Dinger, Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez (now part of the Project Management & Coordination unit), Kim Doberstein. Matt Nuttall is the creepy guy on the monitor.
The Web Team focuses on tasks that are unique to ASR or that cannot be addressed as an enterprise solution by the Office of Information Technology (OIT). They look for ways to provide programming solutions that will help support access to important information. They've been working to decrease the time it takes to gather fresh data (e.g., student APAS information), which makes it easier and faster to share critical information with other departments such as Student Records, Classroom Management, and Student Finance.
To keep up with so many projects, the team started scheduling daily check-ins. Every morning around 9:00 a.m., the staff meets in the hallway to go over the day's agenda. Web Team Manager, Matt Nuttall, said they address the following three questions: "What have you accomplished since yesterday? What will you accomplish by this time tomorrow? And what barriers stand in your way?" These morning meetings help the team to assess where they're at among their different tasks and to prioritize the day ahead.
ASR has hundreds of processes, and the Web Team constantly searches for ways to help simplify and automate them. For example, right now the team is finishing their work on the Tuition and Fee Management System. As they work with the Office of Student Finance (OSF), they will re-engineer how the University proposes and approves class fees and tuition; by the time their work is complete, they will have made it easier and more efficient to manage the allocation and collection of hundreds of millions of dollars.
As web developers, it's easy to assume that coding is a major part of the their work. But, in fact, it's really a last resort. Since code is very expensive to re-write if security issues arise, the team only codes when absolutely necessary. "We focus on using resources that are already available," Matt said.
Though the workload can be demanding, the team is dedicated to providing the best service they can. "We're all passionate about what we do and the mission of ASR," Web Developer Chris Dinger said. Co-worker Joe Goggins agrees, saying that this is the first place he has worked at where he truly understands and stands behind the organization's mission.
At the end of the day, it's all about making the lives of students and staff easier. "There's nothing more satisfying," Joe said, "than someone saying, 'You changed how I do what I do.'"