Develop a website for students to choose projects

From january to june 2007, for my second semester project at TELECOM Bretagne “Development project”, I was asked, with 3 other students, to develop an online projects management system for the computer science department of the university Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO).


This website had to allow the persons invited by the projects session administrator to enter projects propositions. These propositions were then validated by the administrator, and shown to the students. THe interested students could then sort their choices. Once it was done, the administrator could assign projects to students, trying to satisfy a maximum of students. The assignments were then notified to the students.

The students had to be identified thanks to the LDAP of the UBO. However the persons who entered projects propositions weren’t all in the LDAP.

The website had to work in the most used browsers, and to use PHP and MySQL server-side.

Problems and solutions

The most difficult problem was the assignment of projects to the students. First we wanted to make an automatic system, but it wouldn’t have been flexible enough, and we hadn’t enough time to implement it. So we decided to create an AJAX interface that allowed the administrator to see in live which students and projects were unsastsified, and which changes could improve the situation. The changes could be saved at any moment to prevent data lost.

The interface for the students to sort the projects was a bit complicated too. So we used javascript to allow the student to slide and sort the projects. However the interface worked properly if javascript was disabled.

We had a little technical problem too to test the authentification system: we worked in TELECOM Bretagne and we hadn’t access to the UBO’s LDAP. So we tested the authentification with the TELECOM Bretagne’s LDAP, and we made the last changes during the deployment on the UBO’s server.


La première difficulté que nous avons rencontrée est que parmi le groupe de 4 étudiants pour ce projet, j’étais le seul à avoir déjà développé en PHP. Il a donc fallu du temps pour que les 3 autres apprennent ce langage.

THe first difficulty was that among 4 students, I was the only one to already know PHP. So the 3 others needed time to learn this language.

An other problem was due to a bad requirements gathering at the beginning of the project. As the problem wasn’t precise, the requirements have changedduring the project, making us waste a lot of time.


Despite these difficulties, the final result was functional, not beautiful (none of us was designer). It was fairly easy to maintain and properly documented.

I don’t know if our system is presently used at the UBO.