This summer, the Center for Innovation and Computing (CIRC) launched its first-ever commercial software program, DotPurple. With the release of its own software for public use, CIRC is now able to generate increased income to support both students and faculty.
CIRC is a program run by the School of Computing at Southern Adventist University that allows students to gain real-world experience in the technology field. The program partners with local businesses and ministries, as well as larger organizations like the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. CIRC provides opportunities for students to find internships that give them real life experience by creating web pages, mobile apps and business programs.
“Once they graduate, they obviously get jobs out there [in their career field],” said Siegwart Mayr, the lead programmer/analyst for CIRC. “But they not only have a degree, they have a lot of experience. So it’s really good for them.”
Now, with the additional income generated by DotPurple, students are paid by the School of Computing for their work.
DotPurple is designed to make the lives of developers easier. It is a cross-platform GUI (graphical user interface) that runs on the Microsoft .NET Framework, which is the most commonly used system for web development. DotPurple simplifies the intricate details of developing with textboxes, drop-down menus, filepickers and other organizational components.
“Normally, you build tools for other people to make their lives easier. But many times, you find yourself building something very repetitive and cumbersome,” Mayr said. “DotPurple was designed to take much of the repetitive bulk work and streamline it into a more simplified process.”
Development for DotPurple began in early February of this year and was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The good thing is that the way we have set up our teams, Michael [Babienco] has been working with us remotely for the last year,” Mayr said. “During the summers as well, we have students that work for us; some of them work remotely. So, we have experience working remotely, and we have our setup, and we feel comfortable working that way. So when this pandemic hit us, we were right where we wanted to be. It didn’t slow us down at all.”
Because of this, progress on the software continued as planned, with version 1.0 released on June 9, 2020.
According to Babienco, a head programmer/analyst for DotPurple, the outlook for the software’s growth has been good. On Twitter, there has been notable recognition from Scott Hanselman, a prominent technology programmer for Microsoft.
“These are people that are renowned, and the authors of books that sometimes we use in the classroom,” Mayr said. “They’ve been around the block. They know their stuff, and they’re talking to a lot of people. So, to be seen by them and have them see what our product does, it’s exciting.” Currently, there are multiple versions available for download. DotPurple is a free software program, but if someone wants to use it for more hefty projects, a more advanced edition is available for purchase on the DotPurple website.