Blog Posts by Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips
  • How the Liberal Arts Can Make Us Better Software Developers

    One of the defining characteristics of Westmont College—and, by extension, the CATLab—is a commitment to the liberal arts.

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  • How to Create a Culture of Collaboration

    Among the unique challenges that this year has presented, something we have all been navigating is how to stay connected even though we’re apart. A few weeks ago, we looked at how to get a team started in a remote environment. Once you’ve got a team up and running, how do you make sure people can collaborate effectively in spite of the distance?

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  • How We're Reimagining Admissions

    Since the CATLab is a dynamic program that brings together talent from across disciplines and departments, it’s not always clear to people outside the program what our developers are actually building. This summer, our goal is to make it possible for high school students to apply to Westmont through a custom application process. We’re improving both sides of the process—externally, improving the user experience for high schoolers; and internally, improving the way for admissions counselors and officers to process those applications.

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  • Our Journeys Toward Justice, Part 2: Learning to Listen

    Our work this summer is inseparable from the unique historical moment in which we find ourselves. At the CATLab, we’ve been exploring these issues both as a team and individually, and we think it’s important to share some of those stories.

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  • Our Journeys Toward Justice, Part 1: Getting Our Bearings

    Even as we code and write and do art, we have to acknowledge that we don’t do these things in isolation: the CATLab is a program embedded in a certain time and place. More than that, we are all humans whose embodiedness and particularity matter—no one gets to be a human being in the abstract. In the last few weeks, we’ve been sobered by the fact that this is a dark and difficult time. We’ve interrupted our normal projects and processes to take the time to reflect on how to move forward. As our director Zak said:

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  • A Lament and Response

    In the past few days, the CATLab has been taking time to listen, learn, grieve, and take action regarding the tragic realities of racial injustice thrown into sharp relief by the killing of George Floyd and too many others. This devastation has forced us to take a hard look at the brokenness in our world and in ourselves. We at the CATLab want to lament, and we want to stand with our Black brothers and sisters, who have experienced racial injustice and systemic oppression for generations.

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