Enterprise Project Provides 'Real-Life' Experience Outside the Classroom

A trio of undergraduate engineering students recently completed a capstone assignment supporting the Enterprise Project’s Enablement team. Son Le, Ziman Ling and Bo Lu earned “Best in Class” recognition for their work addressing integration challenges with cloud applications.

The Enablement team identified an integration need for retrieving massive volumes of data from Workday, the cloud-based software application that Ohio State is implementing to handle business transactions in financial management, human resources, payroll and student services.

The students were tasked with applying software engineering methodologies, techniques and technologies to build a realized software solution, while also gaining credible experience.

“We enhanced our knowledge by working on a hands-on project – seeing how things actually work in the real-life industry,” said Le.

In several ways, the capstone assignment was a microcosm of the overarching Enterprise Project. The students broke the software life cycle down into multiple phases – analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment and maintenance – similar to the Enterprise Project. They used agile methodology to collect data, create design documents and present demonstrations.

Vinatha Pattisapu, an Ohio State developer focused on system integrations, acted as the sponsor and guided the students through the semester-long project. Pattisapu began working for the university last April as part of the Enterprise Project’s Enablement team, and leveraged this opportunity to bring students into the mix.

“It was fun,” said Pattisapu. “It’s a great learning experience for both of us. Especially with new technology, they are not scared to start using it, and you learn a lot from them.”

The students acknowledged that while this capstone assignment connects to curriculum they have previously learned, it also required them to tackle new concepts in order to effectively complete the project. Lu, who hopes to pursue a career in computer security, felt that the experience of navigating the unknown was valuable.

“After you graduate, the ability to learn something new is very important,” said Lu.

The partnership between the Enablement team and the students embodies one of the Enterprise Project’s guiding principles, “Foster an environment of collaboration and transparency.” By looking outside the walls of Mount Hall, Pattisapu found a creative way to further the work of the Enablement team while fulfilling Ohio State’s teaching and learning mission.

“Once you sponsor the project, you have a solution by the end of the semester, which will benefit the Enterprise Project and the university as a whole,” said Pattisapu. “The students are learning from experienced people from OCIO, and also the new technologies that they will be using once they get into the workforce.”