For Summer 2022, our team worked with Lions Befrienders Service Association (LBSA). Founded in 1995, LBSA strove to provide friendship and care for seniors to age in place with community participation, enabling them to enjoy meaningful and enriching lives. Their vision is to keep Singapore “a nation where every senior is active, healthy and happy”.
LBSA offers six core services:
- Befriending Services
- SAC Cluster Support
- Home Personal Care
- Senior Group Home
- Active Ageing Centres (formerly known as Senior Activity Centres)
The groundwork for these core services have been laid by many teams over the past few years.
This year, majority of our development efforts were put into enhancing the Active Ageing Centre (AAC) module and Cluster Support. More details on the enhancements made for Cluster Support can be found in ‘Case Management System 2022’, under our projects. On top of that, the team also worked on implementing two-factor authentication via Singpass and email, to increase the barriers of entry to the application and consequently the sensitive data within it.
On top of general maintenance and minor enhancements, our team had the following objectives:
- 2FA to be rolled out across all modules
- Second-factor authentication was requested to tighten the access to the sensitive data stored in the application, so as to prevent data breaches.
- This year, we have implemented two main methods of 2FA for LBSA - verifying identity via Singpass authentication, and email OTP.
- Client Booking App
- The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic affected many organisations, and LBSA is no exception. For the AACs, participation rate for activities dropped drastically, as seniors and their family were not comfortable with them attending in-person activities while the infection rates were skyrocketing. As such, it was difficult for the AACs to accurately predict and manage the interest for various activities.
- As the country continues to open up and things go back to normal, the AACs are also starting to conduct more regular activities. In order to better manage and curate their activities, LBSA had requested a Client Booking App for seniors to look for upcoming events or activities at their respective AACs and book them in advance, securing them a place in the event. This allows the AACs to gauge the interest level of different types of events more effectively. Most importantly, the administrative work of the AAC staff (manually calling up seniors to check on their availability) can be greatly reduced, as the more tech-savvy seniors (and their families) can navigate the app and book activities easily.
- As our country ages into a smart nation, more and more people would be able to use this feature, thus this transition would be pivotal in the coming years.
- Mobile Barcode Scanner
- The LBSA AACs hold a plethora of activities for seniors, that cater to many different interests and healthcare services. For effective monitoring and curating of services, the AACs take attendance of the participants of each activity. This has been well implemented by previous batches of CVWO, with a simple touchscreen interface for staff to easily type in the seniors’ names or scan their identity card with a physical barcode scanner to automatically add them to the attendance list.
- This year, LBSA has requested for an enhancement to this feature, which was the create a mobile optimized barcode scanner, for greater convenience of attendance taking for outdoor activities. Instead of taking attendance manually and keying it into the system after the activity, activity facilitators will be able to utilize a barcode scanner on their mobile phone through the CVWO website to scan a seniors’ identity card to record their attendance directly.
- HPC In-house Subsidy
- The team last year developed an extensive module for the Home Personal Care programme. This year, our team was tasked to enhance the module by including an in-house subsidy. Due to a revision of fees this year, LBSA hopes to include an in-house subsidy to allow the fees paid by the seniors to artificially remain the same. The change in fees will take effect in October 2022.
- Miscellaneous enhancements and bug fixes
As mentioned, the groundwork for the respective modules have been largely laid by previous teams. The team worked on bug fixes in the beginning, to get a better idea of the architecture and design decisions made by previous teams. This was very important to understand how requirements have changed dynamically over the past few years.
Development of HPC System
For 2FA, the team had to work with the API provided by Singpass to integrate the authentication into our system. Testing of our app required staging accounts to be created by the Singpass vendor, which had to be applied for early in the summer. With these accounts, the team was able to test and verify that our implementation was working as expected. On top of that, the team also designed and developed the 2FA interface and a control panel for easy rollout of the feature.
For the Client Booking App, our team spent quite a bit of time on designing an elderly-centric user experience, our key focus being on communicating the intent of each individual action clearly to the user. Rather than using too many icons which may confuse the user, our team decided to use short phrases to communicate the action of each button. The app was also designed to allow easy access to font resizing, for the user to adjust to their preferred font size, and multi-lingual support, for users who are more fluent in their mother tongue.
This process took a couple of weeks. For the remainder of CVWO, the team took the time to modify the current schema, create appropriate routes for the backend, create new components for the frontend, and also implement the Singpass authentication for befriendees.
Our User Acceptance Testing (UAT) kicked off two weeks before our final deployment to production, for our users to ensure that the 2FA feature and the Client Booking App were working as expected, before going live. Bugs were fixed promptly as per user feedback.
- Yang Hui Ting (Project Lead, Year 4)
- Eko Widianto (Project Lead, Alumnus)
- Muthukrishnan Santosh (Deputy Project Lead, Year 1)
- Goh Jun Yi (Deputy Project Lead, Year 1)
- Chloe Lim Xinying (Developer, Year 1)
- Qiu Jiasheng, Jason (Developer, Year 1)
- Lee Jia Wei (Developer, Year 1)
- Leong See Leng (Developer, Year 1)
- Yap Zhi Heng (Developer, Year 1)
- Tan Chee Heng (Developer, Year 1)
- Linus Lee Hong Feng (Developer, Year 1)
- Pontakorn Prasertsuk (Developer, Year 1)
- Phillmont Muktar (Developer, Year 4)
- Ryo Hilmawan (Developer, Year 1)
- Cui Shen Yi (Developer, Year 1)
- Tai Tze Kin (Developer, Year 1)
- Zhang Yue (Developer, Year 1)
- Lim Zhe Rui (Developer, Year 1)
Humbled by the amazing work done here, yet again :) Thankful for the opportunity to serve!
– Hui Ting
In CVWO, I was presented with a valuable opportunity to learn software engineering skills and help voluntary welfare organisations at the same time. I gained experience on how to gather user requirements and to solve them in the most optimal way. I am very grateful for the opportunity to intern in CVWO.
– Chee Heng
This past summer has been truly one of the most fulfilling and unique experiences! I’ve learnt so much about good software development, and am thankful for the opportunity to give back to the community. While CVWO pushes you to your limits, the support you get from your teammates is incredible! :)
Working at CVWO was a fruitful and humbling experience. Besides sharpening my technical skills, CVWO was a wonderful opportunity to serve the community using technology.
CVWO is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It was challenging having to juggle so many balls at one go, but this is exactly what helps us to grow and learn :)
– Jia Wei
CVWO has showed me the challenges and complexities of software engineering, and these are what makes the field exciting. It was a great experience taking this opportunity alongside new friends.
– Jun Yi
Learning about software engineering while helping VWOs is a unique experience that is hard to come by.
CVWO has been a fulfilling experience. We got to contribute to society using our software engineering skills and improve them at the same time together with like-minded people. Truly a phenomenal opportunity to be here.
CVWO is a unique opportunity for aspiring software engineers to work on software that actually touches people’s lives. Is there a greater purpose than this?
As a first-year student, CVWO has been an amazing opportunity to participate in developing software with a meaningful social impact. Throughout the programme, I’ve worked with very capable people, and thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent coding and learning with them.
CVWO has been a really great opportunity for me to learn more about software development while tackling meaningful real world problems. I am very grateful for this learning experience working together with such like-minded and driven teammates and amazing team leads!
CVWO has made my summer unique and meaningful. By collaborating with others on real-world software for VWOs, I got to hone my web development and communication skills. It can be tough, but it is through the shared struggle that the strongest friendships are forged! :D
– See Leng
“CVWO is a trial by fire. It’s extremely tough and demands a lot of work but you’ll definitely come out of it smarter and stronger than before. It’s also rewarding that your work contributes to the wellbeing of others in your community.”
– Shen Yi
CVWO gives you the opportunity to develop your skills as a software engineer and practise collaborating with others, all while working on projects that have a real impact on VWOs. I can safely say that CVWO is a greatly fulfilling experience that will be hard to find elsewhere!
– Tze Kin
CVWO is a remarkable experience where you can pick up a multitude of technical skills and soft skills. The excellent and supportive people I’ve met here makes the journey all the more worthwhile!
– Zhang Yue
CVWO has been an extremely meaningful and memorable experience. I’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity to learn not just technical skills but also vital soft skills, and to have made such amazing friends along the way.
– Zhe Rui
Opportunities to develop software for social good come by very rarely. I am very glad that I was given the chance to join CVWO and build meaningful tools for the social services in Singapore! Besides, there’s lots of things to learn, ranging from working together with a team to understanding the needs of the users using the software, and these are very valuable lessons for all who chooses to pursue a career in tech.
– Zhi Heng
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 cooperation and support throughout the project.
- GIC for their generous support for the programme.