In 2017, I joined Bates Technical College in Tacoma, WA as their Web Master / Web Developer. My first priority was to update their web presence. They were using a CMS called Ingeniux and the college wanted to move away from that. The website was bloated with content since it was home for prospective students, current students, and employees. The restructure of the web presence was broken into three stages.

The first stage was to build a student portal and kiosk called MyBates. The graphic designer for the college designed the website and I was tasked with the front-end and back-end development. I built a custom WordPress theme so that we could have complete control of the look and structure of the site. What made this project larger than previous websites that I had worked on pertained to the student kiosk aspect. Community Technical Colleges in Washington state store their student information and applications with the State Board of Community Technical Colleges. SBCTC built apps in the early 2000s for colleges and students to access their information (registration, schedule, 1098, transcripts), but the look and feel of the applications were out of date, and a student would have to log in with their student id and pin every time they wanted access the content.

After contacting SBCTC, I found out that there was a way to interact with the data, without having to use their apps and without students having to sign in every time. If I could figure it out, Bates would be the first college to implement this user flow. So after several attempts, I was able to hook into the SBCTC data using PHP cURL. Bates no longer needed to use the outdated apps, and students had to only sign in once in order to get their data.

The website can be viewed here.

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