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Tyler’s Student Academic Conference Experience

Our coworker Tyler Persons is not only an excellent software engineer, he is also an academic mastermind! When Tyler is not working on Codelation projects, he can be found studying towards his degree, performing teacher’s assistant duties, and occasionally playing Dungeons & Dragons (which is way more complex than you think folks).

On April 5, 2022, Tyler spoke at MSUM’s 24th Annual Student Academic Conference. This day celebrates research and creativity from a variety of areas of study. Individuals and groups share their faculty-fostered research projects in the form of formal poster or oral presentations. Tyler was one of the amazing oral presenters this year! He completed this presentation as a part of Senior Seminar for his Computer Science degree. His project was titled “The Process Behind and Implementation of an Internal Financial Reporting Tool.”

When asked why he was interested in the topic, Tyler noted some of his past encounters as having an influence. “I was inspired by my experience doing project coordination work last fall,” he shared. During his time he found that the current solution of using Google Sheets to track projected finances had some flaws. “I found it easy to accidentally put data in wrong spots or mess up equations in the calculator, so I thought I would fix those issues in software” he explained. 

With all of his studies and real-world experience, it only took Tyler a few days to build the first portion of the tool and plan out later pieces. “Since I used a lot of the same tools I do at work, I was able to reuse most of my previous knowledge,” he said. The product currently can store and display basic information about a project. Tyler shared that the UML and codebase have also been modeled to compute useful and complicated statistics like a project’s expected end date.

Viewers, peers, and judges alike enjoyed hearing about Tyler’s research and build. He shared, “One of my audience members suggested integrating the application with Trello so developers can add their time directly into the application without the need for a project manager to do it”. Fun fact: Trello is a project management tool that Codelation currently uses to help break down individual tasks for each team member over specific periods. He learned that it’s essential to dedicate time to making diagrams and pictures to help an audience understand a concept. “As I was recently reminded, a picture is worth a thousand words,” Tyler explained. Of course, Erick Roder attended the presentation as the official Codelation cheer section. Erick says that he felt quite proud watching Tyler show off his knowledge. “I remember I met Tyler during his second month of college and wanted to hire him immediately for an internship,” he shared. “Two and a half years later, seeing him presenting a product he built to help Codelation track budgets was amazing.”

Tyler said he had a great time working on the presentation for his senior seminar. While he’s unsure what his next big project will be post-graduation, Tyler knows that he wants to spend some time in the field before potentially studying towards a Master’s degree or PHD. While Tyler’s plans aren’t set in stone, one thing is for sure; he will absolutely rock whatever path he takes in his career journey.

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