Background

Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore) In this project, our client was Lions Befrienders Service Association (LBSA).

LBSA is a Voluntary Welfare Organisation which was founded in 1995 by the Lions Clubs of Singapore and a Lions District Project. LBSA is a registered member of the National Council of Social Service. Their vision is to keep Singapore “a nation where every senior is active, healthy and happy”.

LBSA’s operation is split into 3 programmes: Befriending, Senior Activity Centres (SACs) and Cluster Support. Our current system handles the operations of Befriending and SACs, with a future plan to extend the support to Cluster Support as well.

LBSA Befriending program reaches out to seniors who are at risk of social isolation. Trained befrienders (volunteers) provide social and psycho-emotional support to befriendees (seniors)  through weekly home visits. Seniors aged 65 years old and above with limited or no family support are eligible for the service at no charge. The aim is to help them age in place within the community and alleviate them from loneliness and social isolation.

LBSA SACs’ goal is to improve senior citizens’ quality of life, especially those with financial difficulty. The centres conduct activities and programmes that help seniors in certain neighbourhoods to be physically and mentally alert, keeping them involved with the community.

Project Objectives

Clearing backlog The previous year’s team had stabilised the system, but there was still a backlog of bugs and minor features to be addressed. We managed to clear all issues and leave the next team with a clean and stable system.

New wellbeings Wellbeings were introduced in 2017 to let befrienders select the mood and health of befriendees they were visiting. There was feedback that some of the wellbeing options were vague or unclear meaning, so we worked with LBSA to implement a new, clearer set of wellbeing options.

Checkcall mobile site remake The previous mobile site for befrienders to enter their checkcalls was based on AngularJS and Ionic 1, two very outdated frameworks. We remade the mobile site in React and Ionic 4 for ease of future maintainability. We also observed befrienders on the ground using the site to make checkcalls and streamlined the workflow based on our firsthand observations.

Wellbeing alerts Our system has collected 2 years of wellbeing data. We investigated this data to find some possible applications, and decided to create a module to display alerts to staff when a befriendee has had multiple bad wellbeings in a certain time frame.

Project Process

Codebase Familiarization

The groundwork for this project was already laid by the past three teams. In order to continue work on it, we first had to understand how it was designed, as well as the rationale behind these choices. This was extremely crucial, as some definitions were unintuitive and based on LBSA’s business requirements. The team began with framework updates as well as bug fixes to further accelerate the familiarization process.

Development

Due to the scale of the application, work was largely divided on a per-module basis. This ensured that every module had an expert who deeply understood the requirements and processes of the modules they were working on.

Time was also spent learning essential and valuable skills, frameworks and tools such as Ruby on Rails, SQL, and Git.

Screenshots

Project Team

  • Jolene Tan (Project Lead, Year 2)
  • Chaitanya Baranwal (Developer, Year 1)
  • Yang Hui Ting (Developer, Year 1)
  • Lim Zi Wei (Developer, Year 1)
  • Iskandar Zulkarnaien Bin Suhaini (Developer, Year 1)
  • Firzan Armani Bin Fajar Masazman (Developer, Year 1)
  • Ni Tianzhen (Developer, Year 1)
  • Leow Wen Bin (Developer, Year 1)

Afterthoughts

CVWO has been a rare and invaluable experience in leading a team. Transitioning from development work to tech management has taken some getting used to, but it has been a great opportunity for growth, and I am pleased to be able to continue support for the same organisation I served last year.

– Jolene Tan

The past summer has been immensely draining but rewarding, and I wouldn’t have spent it any other way.

– Leow Wen Bin

CVWO has been a truly rewarding experience for me as I have learnt not only skills and standards for software engineering, but also how computing applications benefit people in real life.

– Ni Tianzhen

I’ve gained so much insight and real-world software engineering experience from CVWO. This was really an eye-opener.

– Firzan Armani Bin Fajar Masazman

The CVWO experience is much more than just simple software engineering. It’s a chance to understand the real world needs and constraints of clients and how best to build problem solving systems that suit their unique circumstances.

– Iskandar Zulkarnaien Bin Suhaini

CVWO was more than just software engineering, it was often dealing with difficult real-world problems and deriving the best solution possible within the given constraints. A unique experience indeed!

– Chaitanya Baranwal

CVWO made my summer pretty meaningful and I’m glad I made some good friends in the process :)

– Yang Hui Ting

It never gets boring.

– Lim Zi Wei

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the following people who have been influential and supportive during our project:

  • Prof Ben Leong (NUS) for his patient guidance.
  • LBSA staff for their co-operation and support throughout the project.
  • GIC for their generous support for the programme.