The Dev Garden site serves two related purposes:
- showcasing software projects built by or involving Macalester students, and
- helping project owners find new student collaborators.
Its audiences include:
- students wishing to share their work and get peers involved,
- students curious about building software projects and looking for opportunities and inspiration,
- Macalester community members (alumni, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in what students are up to, and
- members of the public who aren’t aware of all the fascinating things that students here build!
The site eschews the usual flavor of project showcase sites: it’s not another resumé farm, or programming-flavored “Facebook lite,” or a points-as-reward hamster wheel.
Instead, its design focuses attention on the software projects themselves. Individual profile pages focus on participation in the Dev Garden community, letting links to external sites speak to students’ expertise and personality. There are no comments sections; communication happens primarily through requests and offers of collaboration. The focus throughout is on building wonderful things.
The site is deployed on an Ubuntu Linode with Passenger and (because of the needs of other sites deployed on the same box) Apache HTTP Server. It uses memcached for caching, Mailgun for email, and Let’s Encrypt for SSL certs.