Simon Woodside | CECS.Online.Deadline
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An timeline of quotations documenting the development of CECS.Online. The computer system is a replacement for UW's co-op ACCESS system. Each quotation is cross-referenced to the source, and a glossary of sources is also provided.

The steady drip-drop of progress

Once upon a time, in the mid-1990s, the university introduced the student ACCESS computer system to computerize co-op. Not long after, plans were already being drawn up to replace it. The new project was dubbed CECS.Online. The goal: to put the entire co-op process on the web, from posting jobs, submitting résumés, to scheduling interviews.

The chronology allows the participants to speak for themselves. The bulk of the text is entirely made up of direct quotations. Text in [square brackets] is for clarification purposes only.

If you read the document you might notice that there's a lot of predictions. In fact official sources predicted that they'd be done with CECS.Online in the following years: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, and now, the latest estimate is 2004. In other words, since 1997 they predicted they would be done within a year, almost every year. Estimating software completion is difficult and lots of projects take twice as long as initialy thought. CECS.Online, at latest estimate, has taken 7 times longer than initially estimated, if you accept the latest prediction.


1997 - of mice and men

1997/03/27 - Imprint: "The University has recently 'approved in principle' a new Co-op Internet system. [...] This new system, [is] distributed by Academic Software, Inc." [ issues/032797/1News/news06.html]

1997/03/27 - Imprint: "The intention [is] of phasing out hard copy résumés and make Co-op totally paperless by approximately mid-1998." [ issues/032797/1News/news06.html]

1998 - gushing with anticipation

1998/01/30 - Imprint: "Gone will be the days of hundreds of students packed like Japanese commuters into the basement hallway." [ issues/013098/1News/news04.shtml]

1998/07/16 - Daily Bulletin: "Implementation expected during the 1999 winter term." [ bulletin/1998/jul/16th.html]

1999 - not so fast, buddy

1999/07/13 - Olaf Naese, CECS: "The development should carry on through the Fall 1999 term with a possible pilot run following the completion and testing of the modules." [ bulletin/1999/jul/13tu.html]

1999/10/14 - UW Planning Committee: "The new system is expected to go live in spring 2000." [ bulletin/1999/oct/14th.html]

1999/11/12 - Bruce Lumsden, CECS: "Academic Software Inc. [...] is withdrawing from the University's CECS.Online project." []

1999/11/12 - Dave Thomas, CECS: "The university through IST is not really in a development mode." [ issues/111299/1News/News1.shtml

2000 - we are not going to sit back and ruminate

2000/03/07 - Bruce Lumsden: "I want something up and running in 18 months, 24 months. ... We don't have the luxury of sitting back and ruminating on this for six months or a year." [ bulletin/2000/mar/07tu.html]

2000/03/07 - Daily Bulletin: "By the end of April [Bruce Lumsden is] hoping there will be basic specifications for the project, so that work can start in May." [ bulletin/2000/mar/07tu.html]

2000/03/16 - Daily Bulletin: "The team expects it will be two years before the system is up and running." [ 2000/may/16tu.html]

2000/05/16 - Daily Bulletin: "CECS and [IST] decided to develop a new system themselves, using PeopleSoft tools along with concepts. Dave Kibble of IST is project manager of the team." [ bulletin/2000/may/16tu.html]

2000/10/20 - IST: "Functional requirements document completed." [ infocprg/news/news20001020.html]


2001/12/21 - IST: "... completed the employer registration component of the project." [ infocprg/news/news20011221.html]

2002 - May 2003 it is then

2002/07/30 - IST: "The management team has its sights set on implementation in 2003 for the core functionality of the project." [ infocprg/news.html]

2002/11/14 - Olaf Naese: "The new CECS online system will be launched in May 2003." [ 2002/nov/14th.html]

2002/12/11 - Olaf Naese: "At this point we anticipate a May 2003 implementation." [ story/13083]

2003 - we meant May 2004

2003/02/11 - Daily Bulletin: "Co-op students in two programs -- architecture and teaching -- will be the first users, or beta testers, of the long-awaited 'CECS Online' system later this year." [ bulletin/2003/feb/11tu.html]

2003/02/24 - David T. Barnard (U. of Regina), John Mather (Manulife), Larry Symes (U. of Regina): "It is clear that the University of Waterloo is not making the pioneering contributions to the use of information technology in post-secondary education that it once was." [ infoprov/itreport.pdf]

2003/07/08 - Rob Ewaschuk, Co-op Council: "I believe that at the co-op council meeting, they said that architecture students had been pulled from this term because of portfolio concerns, while teaching students had been left in the system." [ mode=display&sid=20030706012543596&cid=20140]

2003/09/25 - Inside Scoop, CECS: "This new system will be in use for all students starting latest May 2004." [ scoop/cecsonline.html]

Glossary of Sources

A glossary of the sources quoted in this document.

David T. Barnard (U. of Regina), John Mather (Manulife), Larry Symes (U. of Regina)

Official reviewers, in 2002-2003, of UW's information technology efforts, commissioned by the UW Vice-President.

Commission on Institutional Planning

A 1994 Commission with the mandate to develop a new plan for institutional development, to address the challenges and opportunities that UW would face in the next five to ten years. The Commission released the latest progress report in 2002.

Co-operative Education and Career Services (CECS)

The client organization for the CECS.Online computer system.

Daily Bulletin

The official UW daily news update.

Rob Ewaschuk

A Federation of Students student councillor, and a co-op student. Thus, a member of the Feds Co-op Council.

Information System and Technology (IST)

Handles all information technology requirements for CECS and other parts of the university. Currently, the developer of CECS.Online.


The official UW student newspaper.

Inside Scoop

An official publication of CECS.

David Kibble

A senior IST manager, in charge of the CECS.Online project.

Bruce Lumsden

The director of CECS.

Olaf Naese

The CECS communications director.

Dave Thomas

The CECS information systems coordinator

Updates to this document

This document may be updated from time to time. Changes will be noted in the change log.

2003/10/10 - changes to formatting - converted "About the Actors" into an alphabetical glossary of sources used in the document - further abridged some of the quotes - removed per-quote comments.

Copying this document

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