MU Campus Dining Services Online

I began working for CDS in September 2005 as a student intern, and I was hired in December after impressing them with an award-winning, Web-based menu management system. (You can read about the project here, and see a live prototype demonstration here.)

The main reason CDS brought me on board was to redesign the Website using fresh Web 2.0 standards. Go ahead and look at the before and after screenshots below. Basically, the entire site had to be recoded from the bottom up. The site was completely static, meaning there wasn't a shred of script code, database access, or dynamic interactive content for the user. Actually there was one server-side script, written in Perl, to process comment forms. It didn't work though, so it doesn't count. The location map was one of those old school image maps, and (thanks to how cumbersome those are to edit) half of the locations were either out of place or closed.

Last but not least, it appeared as though the previous Web developer they hired had written a single static HTML page to start with, and then for every subsequent page he simply copied the file and edited it. I'm not kidding... actual instances of the header and footer code existed in over 70 files! It was so bad that the copyright dates ranged from like 2001 to 2005 (the distribution was about even). There were so many files that when changes had to be made to the old design I was forced to use commands like

find . -type f -name "*.htm*" -exec sed -i 's/foo/bar/g' {} \;
just to edit a nav bar or something. Anyway...

CDS was very pleased when I presented the final version of the "new design" to them at a meeting. The site's structure and presentation were both cleanly separated thanks to CSS2, the amount of code redundancy was zero thanks to clean PHP programming, and numerous Web applications were added (and the comment form works now). The site even received national recognition. In May of 2005, The National Association of College and University Food Services featured the CDS Website I designed as its "site of the month" at

I have enjoyed my time at CDS very much, but it's time to move on. It was a pleasure working with everyone in the office, especially my two bosses, Andrew and Elliot. I wish everyone there the best of luck in their future endeavors.