Andrew Ho's Works

Game Designer, Producer, Voiceover Arist

PayPal College Challenge

Role: Team manager, documentation

CS 4911 is the Senior Design Capstone course is a requirement for CM and CS students in their senior year for graduation, and this was in Fall of 2008 for myself. Students work in groups on a variety of projects to show that they’ve learned enough at GA Tech to work on a professional project, as teams will work with professors, local businesses and groups to create a project or piece of work relating to their adviser’s particular interest.

My team consisted of four students including myself, and the project that we chose to work on was to create a prototype web service or software that uses the PayPal API and is targeted at college students. We also entered into the PayPal College Challenge contest, in which university teams from around the nation competed to create similar web services and software.

The early stages of the project focused on brainstorming for ideas and getting the team project roles down. We had a main programmer, UI designer, documentation and testing manager, and I was the project lead. While I had some familiarity with the SCRUM software development process, projects teams were expected to utilize this method by having first setting goals for each sprint, determining how long each goal would take, meeting weekly to ensure these goals were completed by the time the next sprint began and meeting with the professor every two weeks to give him a report on our progress.

The idea that we settled on was to develop a financial planning service that allowed users to keep track of their savings and expenditures, analyze their financial situation and even provide notifications to users if their self-set spending limit was approaching. Similar software includes the Quicken software suite and Mint.com. Developing prototypes and testing them went on as expected sometime during the second month of the semester, and our team was able to maintain consistent progress in line with the SCRUM process through the semester. By the end of the semester, we accomplished all the goals that we had set out initially and were able to present a working demo of the project that could pull financial information from an actual PayPal account.

Shortly after the semester ended, our team was chosen as the first place winners in the PayPal College Challenge out of over a dozen other teams from around the country. Our team was awarded a $3000 cash prize to be divided among the members and recognized by the PayPal corporation, although we were unable to travel to the PayPal headquarters to present our project due to unexpected circumstances.

Some of the development materials can be found in this folder, with the exception of weekly reports and the actual demo. The demo of the bill payment system was hosted on one of the team member’s web space, but he has since then graduated and moved on.

Design Presentation