Web programmer wins award for software

Michael Dykstra, administrative web programmer at Northwestern College, won an award for software development while attending the Jenzabar annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., May 28–31.

Jenzabar is a leading provider of software, strategies and services that cater to the academic and administrative needs of higher education institutions, including Northwestern.

A scheduling program Dykstra developed for Jenzabar Internet Campus Solution (JICS) portlets won first place in the utilities category in a contest run by the National Association of CX/JX Users, a nonprofit organization that assists its members in maximizing their use of Jenzabar products. His program provides administrators with the ability to view scheduler logs in an easy-to-read web page, easily pause/resume jobs, and expand the functionality of the scheduler service. Dykstra received a $500 cash prize.

During the conference, which was attended by more than 1,500 information technology professionals and administrative personnel, Dykstra presented his research, “Debugging Practices of JICS Portlets,” which covered both basic and advanced tools programmers use to debug JICS. He also spoke on other programs, including Visual Studio Remote Debugger Log4Net, NHibernate logging and other popular industry standard tools.

Dykstra, a 2008 Northwestern College alumnus, has been part of the institution’s computing services staff since he graduated. A former computer support specialist, he has been in his current role for three years.