S.L.U.G.S Logo

A Programmer @ SLUGS

[Sole Developer]

Spring 2020 - Present

SLUGS

Spring 2020 - Present

S.L.U.G.S (or if you’re in need of an acronym; the Sound & Lighting User Grouping System) is now the online home for BSSL employees. It allows managers to book, manage, staff, process, and bill shows. Employees also benefit from a streamlined timeclock, availability schedule, and a day of show view. All are available on their mobile device.

From a software perspective, I created this project to get a little more leverage on understanding full-stack applications and building out systems that work to maximize efficiency and minimize hassle. My interests lie in improving life with software, and this is a very real example of that in action.

The web app is built using Django, with integrations to Quickbooks & Google Calendar. The source code is available on Github.

V1 (2020)

During the beginning of the pandemic I had some extra time on my hands (when I wasn’t attending school or working at Fairly) so I got to work on the original S.L.U.G.S. It was just a “simple” Django project that I pitched to the company and the big-wigs at the SA. (Un)luckily, 2020-21 turned out to be a huge flop event wise (no clue why…) and all of the little bugs in S.L.U.G.S bothered me enough that I got to work on a V2. We used the V1 for employee training and other internal functions, but it was more of a proving ground than anything.

V2.0 (Fall 2021)

Moving onto V2 the obvious immediate change is in the design style. Now with some better UI under my belt and the magic of Tailwind, I embarked on really making S.L.U.G.S something that our employees wanted to use, not something they had to use. I also adopted a mobile-first design workflow given the userbase will most likely do 90% of their work on the web app from their devices. This update also brought lots of user and manager friendly features like:

V2.3 and Beyond! (Spring 2022+)

Future Joe here, wanted to throw some notable updates on the project in here! Thanks to a successful return to in person instruction, we’ve been busier than ever. We’ve grown our employee-base to ~100 (with over 100 users of the site) and used it as our backbone infrastructure for the Fall semester processing 50+ shows.

I started a CHANGELOG.md file shortly after writing the original article, and man has SLUGS evolved…

It’s been a truly unique experience to write software for an in house endevour I’m personally involved in, as well as having the opportunity to so intensely “dogfood” my own software. My board members have been incredibly understanding through more than one “damn that’s a cool idea SLUGS is gonna be down for 5 min let me add that” moments. Being able to move fast and not worrying about nailing down functionality has allowed us to expand SLUGS use cases and dramatically improved our workflow as well as made us better managers.