Kerry Cao & Brad Conklin

Kerry & Brad

Bachelor of Science, Computing Science Specialization, 5th Year

Bachelor of Science, Computing Science Specialization, 3rd Year

Course: CMPUT 401(Winter 2022) with Instructor Ildar Akhmetov

Who was your community partner and can you describe the project objectives? 

Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) and Sister's Dialogue. The goal of the project is to increase the sense of safety and wellbeing in the community, contribute to improvement in mental health in the community, foster an equitable, healthy and vibrant community and promote reclaiming of public spaces. To do this, we were to provide an app to allow and facilitate the pairing of volunteers and participants, so that they can safely walk in an environment which can feel threatening.

What was your biggest takeaway from your CSL placement? 

Kerry: In recent years, the rise of religious and racially targeted attacks are making members of the BIPOC and Muslim communities feeling unsafe while walking down our city streets. It is important that we reclaim these public spaces which have been made unsafe due to the attacks.

Brad: For the objective itself, the necessity of such a program made me more aware of the increasing severity of prejudice and violence towards minorities occurring in Edmonton. On the technical side - working on the project alongside my fellow students, while in communication with the client, helped me understand the dynamics of effectively developing an application as a team that will satisfy the client.

How can you apply any newly gained knowledge/skills to your future endeavours (courses/employment/volunteering)?

Kerry: The valuable experience I gained managing and coordinating a team of 6 software engineers will help me significantly in my future career

Brad: The newly gained skills will be invaluable for my career, not only for software development in a team, but for working alongside a client and communicating effectively what can realistically be done within the given timeframe. Effectively managing the goals and expectations of a project without allowing the group to lose focus on the main objectives will be a key skill in my career.

What are some of the ways that COVID-19 has affected your community partner or your placement? 

Kerry: N/A

Brad: COVID-19 might be a partial catalyst for increasing hostility towards immigrants in the country, as some people are looking for scapegoats, or are acting out due to the stressful environment created by the pandemic. It also might affect the desire of people to walk alongside a stranger, as they might be weary of contracting the virus.