The four creators of NorseCourse.

The Project: NorseCourse is a schedule planner that makes registering for classes easy. The app, which uses programs including Python, Angular, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, allows students to look up individual courses and sections and then use a custom-made scheduling algorithm to view potential schedules for those courses and/or general-education requirements.

The Group: Grant Barnes, John Doorenbos, Michael Moore, and Blaise Schaeffer

Preparing for a Collaborative Field

Says Brad Miller, associate professor of computer science, “Almost everyone in the computer industry works collaboratively, so learning to work as part of a team is very important. More and more those teams are not even in the same location. I've worked with people all over the world, and many of our students are going into jobs where they may be located in one part of the United States, but working with people in other cities.”

The Rewards of Working as a Team

The NorseCourse team agrees: “Working in a group for our senior project allowed us to gain similar skills to what will use throughout our careers: communication, collaboration, design strategy, brainstorming, carrying out a roadmap from start to finish, and much more.”

But the project was rewarding in another way as well. Says group spokesperson Grant Barnes: “It was really satisfying to be able to work on a large project and achieve something that would have been unattainable by a single person. Because we were able to combine each of our own specializations, the result was far greater than the sum of our individual roles. There was also a certain motivation to keep working on the project because you knew the rest of the group depended on it.”

Learning about Yourself through Teamwork

Says Barnes, “I learned a lot about the subject we were working on as well as how I work in groups. This was my first experience in a really long-term collaborative project, and it gave me a chance to see how I work in such a situation.”

John Doorenbos also learned something personal from the experience: “While this project required me to learn and develop a plethora of skills, it reminded me how interested I am in working with people.”

Blaise Schaeffer agrees: “I discovered what type of people I work best with. And in terms of the subject, I feel like we had a startup-like environment, and I was able to get a taste of what it might be like to run my own company.”