Meet two guys who are making your life a whole lot easier

Mike, left, and Joseph, right

Last year, class registration was a slow, tedious effort that oftentimes involved jotting down unintelligible possible class times on paper and cursing the faulty back button that always took you to an error page. Last year, students had to visit the dining menu page of each of the 5C’s individually to see which had the most appealing menu. This year, with the help of two talented freshmen, Mike Maltese (an economics major from Sonora, CA) and Joseph Long (a computer science/linguistics major from Atlanta, GA), class registration and dining hall menus have been entirely reformatted and streamlined for convenience of use.

Mike Maltese’s website, which contains the Five-College Menu, brings up a menu for each of the 5Cs (including snack) with the help of an automated computer program. The Five-College menu allows the user to weigh sushi at Malott against the exposition at Collins without having to open multiple pages. It ensures that someone will never wonder what he or she is missing at a different school and can be found here.

Joseph Long’s web creation, Our Pomona, allows the user to conveniently search for courses across all five colleges and place them on a schedule to see how they work out. All this is done with innovative graphics, created by Joseph himself, and none of the slowness of the My Pomona website. Our Pomona can be found here and will be especially useful for registration this week.
           
I sat down with both Joseph and Mike to find out a little more about what makes them tick:
 
How old were you when you first started programming?
Mike: I had a technology class in 8th grade, and they taught me how to make web pages in Microsoft Word, and I thought this wasn’t right, so I started looking stuff up online.
Joseph: I started before I had a computer class, which I had in 8th grade as well. I can’t remember if it was something nerdy like working on one of my own projects or going to computer camp.
 
What inspired you to make your websites and what do you hope that users get out of it?
M; I didn’t like having to go to all the menu websites, and I hope that users will also not have to do that.
J: What inspired me to make Our Pomona was that I was sick of the error messages when I used the back button on the portal. At Harwood Halloween someone told me that if I could improve My Pomona he would be impressed.
 
What are you thinking of for a career?
M: Something with people, somewhere warm.
J: Something that combines design and engineering, like an industrial designer.
 
Any other projects in the making?
M: For the last six weeks, I’ve been working on the new TSL website, as well as working with Dean of Students Office redesigning the student guidebook.
J: I’ve actually got several projects going on right now: ASPC housing reviews, a housing search, course reviews, and new courses. I’m also trying to fix Connection 47.  
 
Finally, do you have any other interests?
M: Writing for the newspaper, cross country, and partying.
J: Cooking and theater (hopefully you caught his singing talents in The Threepenny Opera!)