Center for Applied Technology
Most higher ed institutions today have fragmented, frustrating online experiences. The CATLab builds tech solutions that give communities an effortless way to navigate the technology they need to pursue meaningful works and relationships.
We are developers, designers, artists, and writers from Westmont College. Think of the CATLab as an idea lab or technology innovation hub for our school. Our members’ studies range from Art to Data Analytics, and we utilize a wide range of liberal arts skills to achieve our goals. Students and staff work together to pave the way for meaningful change.
Kristen, Sr. Developer
“Thanks to my experience at CATLab, I constantly am implementing solutions within one job that I discover at the other — the work that I do for both Thornhill and CATLab is mutually beneficial. The skills I have been able to develop at CATLab ultimately allowed me to be proficient enough in Salesforce to take the internship, and resultantly I can branch out a little in a completely different implementation of Salesforce at Thornhill. Then, the work that I do at Thornhill circles back around, allowing me to bring a wider knowledge base back to CATLab on a weekly basis.”
James, Sr. Developer
"CATLab has taught me a lot. It was my first professional job in the technology field. It’s exposed me to working with other professionals, specifically consulting with professionals and building them a product. Having the creative freedom while complying with best practices and product requirements has helped prepare me for the internship I have now. My internship has required a lot of creative development within in the constructs of the business processes already in place, so I really do feel that I’ve had a foundation of sorts. CATLab has also prepared me for project management (using JIRA software, project planning, product requirements, consulting, etc.) There of course is an emphasis in being able to deliver which revolves around my technical ability, but the project management side of things is just as important especially in working within a team environment."
Sophia, Sr. Developer/Consultant
"When landing my first full-time internship outside of CATLab, we had just gone live with the Advancement project for Westmont. Being able to talk with the company about completing a project that was currently being used was really important. I also find it extremely personally gratifying to be able to put my technical skills toward helping the college.
In my current position at Outside Open, I rely on the resilience I developed at the CATLab to adapt to new challenges. At the CATLab we are constantly learning and refining our knowledge base. Like any technology, Salesforce is always changing and over the past 3 years we have been adapting to new Apex practices or moving from Aura to Lightning Web Components. Being able to pick up new concepts and languages quickly and confidently has served me well as a full-time software developer."
Curious about our team? Want a peek inside the CATLab? Check out our most recent blog posts!
3 Benefits of Multiple Internships
It’s common knowledge that internships are an important step on the path of professional development—but did you know that, according to recent studies, 65% of employers expect college grads to have at least two internships? That’s just one reason that our team members are encouraged to find part-time internships in addition to their work at the CATLab. In addition to bolstering your portfolio, pursuing multiple internships can broaden your experience, strengthen your marketability, and deepen your understanding.
8 Tips and Tricks for Working Remotely
After months of working remotely, we may be getting used to engaging with our jobs, schools, and social lives through our computers—but are we using these powerful machines to their full capacity? Today’s post comes from CATLab member Jordan Douthit, who, as both a coder and a creative, has picked up some tips and tricks to make remote work easier, no matter what project you’re working on!
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.
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?
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.
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.