John B. LOWE's picture

Three New Shoulders at the Wheel of CollectionSpace Development

Three UC Berkeley undergraduates have begun coding work on the CollectionSpace system as members of the UCB CollectionSpace Development team.  CollectionSpace is the museum collection management system used by five museums here on campus, as well as a number of other museums around the world.

Since joining the CollectionSpace team last year, Jennifer Be, Thitacitta Low, and Cesar Villalobos-Huizar have been working on tasks which include the automation of Quality Assurance (QA) testing of the CollectionSpace system and development of web-based applications that allow broader access to a collection’s data. Now they’ve started to polish the crown jewels themselves -- maintaining and enhancing the core CollectionSpace code.

This group will continue what is becoming a tradition of having student employees work part-time on software development and maintenance for the CollectionSpace service here at UCB. So far, eight students in all have participated in the program and have made contributions to the software base of CollectionSpace or its Berkeley-specific customizations. Past participants, noted with appreciation, include: Julian Jaffe, Ruijing Li, Regina Xu, Forest Yang, Alan Kwok.

The student employee program is both an enrichment program for the students, who learn the details of managing the software development life cycle of a complex platform, as well as an opportunity to make a concrete contribution to the quality and functionality of a complex  existing system, consisting of multi-million lines of code. Once acclimated to the development environment, the latest group of students will focus on enhancements and fixes requested by the five UCB CollectionSpace tenants.

John Lowe, service manager for CollectionSpace at UCB, and Ray Lee, Tech Lead for CollectionSpace at UCB, are mentoring the students. According to John, "it’s great to have the students continue this wonderful initiative: we really need some developers with CollectionSpace experience, which they now have by virtue of their earlier work in the QA automation effort in the past year.  They’ll be able to bring that knowledge to the new development work they’ll be doing. We have great expectations!"

Photo: The CollectionSpace Development Team at UC Berkeley. From left to right (across all rows): John Lowe, Rick Jaffe, Aron Roberts, Chris Hoffman, Ray Lee, Jennifer Be, Cesar Villalobos-Huizar, Thitacitta Low. Not pictured: Lam Voong.