August 22, 2017
By Payton Pietron, University of Montana
As a technology company that supports higher education institutions, Ex Libris puts a strong emphasis on student success, much like the universities we partner with. As an early North American adopter of the campusM mobile platform, the University of Montana has outstanding examples of student success initiatives. Within their campusM implementation project, they have made significant use of student developers to help build custom functionality within their UMontana app and to contribute to their students’ real world professional training.
Payton Pietron was a significant team member involved in the success of the UMontana app launch and has recently joined the Ex Libris campusM team as a Solutions Architect.
My introduction to Ex Libris began with my work as a student developer at the University of Montana (UM). UM was using Ex Libris’ mobile campus solution, campusM, to power the new mobile experience for their students.
I created simple tiles using campusM’s Application Extension Kit (AEK), which proved to be a diverse front-end tool. I created basic screens that pulled in JSON or XML to populate fields. My focus soon shifted to building APIs and then consuming those APIs with the AEK to display data in relevant ways. I was in a unique position where I had both the developer perspective and the student perspective, which inevitably impacted how I designed additions to the app.
Part of the benefit of building new tiles in campusM was that I was immediately able to use them in my own day-to-day life as a student. It was exciting to be a part of the team that was providing mobile services to my peers. The team that I was a part of found a way to make any tile concept UM could dream up a reality.
Shortly after graduating from UM with a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics, I was hired on as a Solution Architect for Ex Libris as a part of the Mobile and Learning Solutions team. campusM is continually revealing itself to me as an endlessly diverse tool as I get even more involved in it as an Ex Libris employee. Even though my time as a student developer is over, I still get to use campusM and, specifically, the AEK, and I cannot wait to be part of the new tiles and functionality that will be created in the future.
Check out some more of the tiles Payton designed for the University of Montana’s mobile app below!