Summer of Code

27 Aug 2017

During the summer of 2017 I worked at the Olin Library which was hosting a “Summer of Code”. The intent was to create “community software” (software that brings communities together).

The biggest project I worked on was FutureBoard, our take on digital signage. We have many digital signs around campus, but adding content is a bureaucratic process. We wanted to make it more accessible for students and faculty to share photos and events. As a side-effect, we also wanted to capture media created at Olin for an archive of projects and events. Most of our time was spent testing different ways to make uploading media smooth and fun. For example, I had made a little physics mini-game so that you could fling a picture from your phone to the main display.

futureboard demo

A picture of the Olin Library running on FutureBoard.

We also ran a few short hackathons, most of which I focused on creating wireless input devices with an ESP8266. The most fun was creating a capacitive touch bar for FutureBoard. Most of this was done in Micropython with a NodeJS server.

Ultimately, I learned a lot about working in a small team and how to be effective when developing new software.