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Brian Chabot: Application Developer + Motorcyclist extraordinaire

Whether he's rooting for Otto the Orange or cruising to campus on his motorcycle, @Brian Chabot undeniably channels the school spirit of his employer, Syracuse University. In this showcase, you will learn more about his career path as well as what it's like to be an Application Developer in the education industry. Enjoy! 

Tell us a little bit about your career path and how it brought you into education

I started developing scripts when I was a Systems Administrator and really enjoyed the work. Went back to school for Computer Science and, fast forward, I’m now an Application Developer for Syracuse University here in New York State. I’m part of a team that maintains the systems for the entire campus. I build and maintain the custom plugins we have in-house and help to develop standards across the systems.
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Describe how Syracuse uses Atlassian tools in day-to-day work

We have three environments: Dev, Test, and Production. 

Currently, the university uses Confluence (server) for documentation and collaboration. Confluence has about 180 total spaces using about 220,00 content pages. We also use Jira (server) for tracking issues and tickets across many departments on campus. We have a few plugins, which include: Team Calendars and Zen Foundation.

Jira currently has about 700,000 issues across 207 projects. We have a number of Jira plugins, which include: Email This Issue, ScriptRunner, Jira Agile, Tempo Timesheets, and a few from Bob Swift.

Both systems are available to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and external non-university customers. This total user count is about 150,000. We are developing a roadmap to bring Service Desk into the campus in the future.

What are some of the biggest challenges that your team faces?

Our challenges are size and complexity. The systems we maintain are campus-wide. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and more use our systems. We need our systems to be open to reaching all of our customers. We also have a number of colleges within the university. This adds a level of complexity as we need to incorporate the whole campus and their requirements.

If you could magically develop one plug-in to make your job easier, what would it be and why? 

Well, being a developer, that is what I do. We created a plugin for certain users, non-admins, to search our user directory and quickly find general information about them and all issues created by them. We have created a print function to print certain issue fields on small cards to label physical items that pertain to an issue. We use the API to create issues for certain projects via a web form and we also create a number of scripts to help facilitate the administration of Atlassian products. The items we build are used often and make daily life in Atlassian products easier for the campus.

Is there another Atlassian product you feel would benefit your team? Why?

Crowd could make things more seamless across the Atlassian products. We have it listed on our roadmap and look forward to reviewing what it can do for us.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy coaching my son’s basketball team. Walking up to the Carrier Dome to watch college ball with the family. And in the summer, riding my motorcycle. Parking is tough on campus and I park my car almost a mile away from my building, but I can park my bike right in front!
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Thanks, Brian! 

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