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Written by Bryan Austad   
Friday, 27 May 2011

Bryan AustadWhat in the world is LDSTech Scheduler and why would I want you to join the project? Let me start by telling you who I am and how the LDSTech Scheduler came to be.

I'm Bryan Austad, I've worked for the LDS Church for six years now.  I can't believe it has been that long.  I currently am the division architect for the Ecclesiastical Division in ICS.  I first came over as a team manager, and was able to build my own team and was promised that this would be a hands on coding managing position.

After some time, I found myself managing the General Authority, Temple, and other Operations portfolios.  This turned into managing the development for all the Ecclesiastical portfolios. I was being pushed farther from the code.  (I'm wondering if they were trying to tell me something.)  I've been told that once you go into management, the technology and coding slips through your hands like sand.  I have an incredible passion for programming and had to find ways to stay in the code.

In 2008 we held the first SORT conference.  This was an internal development conference where we shared, presented, and learned from each other.  (By the way, many have asked what SORT stands for. We just wanted something easy to remember, and SORT was a good development term.)


I decided to start a personal pet project for a scheduler to schedule courses for the conference.  This would solve my appetite to code and help catch me up on the LDS Java stack technologies.

Well, SORT was a big success and we've expanded it to include all of ICS, FamilySearch, and select professors and students from BYU, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii, USU, UofU, Weber State, and UVU.  The attendee count for that conference has grown to surpass 1,000 attendees.  The scheduler application had to change to support the growth.

For SORT 2009, we used the scheduler to test out different Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies.  The front-end was written in JavaScript, GWT, Flex, and JSF.  We had an RIA showdown session on the technologies.  (Who won the showdown? It depends on who you talk to.)

This year the scheduler was used to support the 2nd annual LDSTech conference.  At the LDSTech conference I opened it up as a community project.  The current technologies we are using for the scheduler are in the LDS Java Stack: Spring, JPA, Oracle, JavaScript, and REST.

Now to answer why you would want to join the team.  There really are not any political battles we have to go through to get something done on this project; in other words, the customer is super flexible :).  You get to learn some of the key technologies that we are using and exploring at the Church.

As an architect at the Church, I get to look into some newer technologies and the feasibility of using these technologies. You will see some of these on the backlog of the project.  For example, right now I'm looking at taking out Oracle and JPA and replacing the backend with MongoDB (a no-SQL database).  I may present again at SORT 2011 on different no-SQL backends, and you guessed it, I just may use LDS Scheduler as an example of using the various backends.  We can call it the no-SQL showdown :).

I'm also exploring how to push more functionality on to the client using JavaScript and hitting a RESTful backend at the Church. Scheduler uses this architecture.  Other applications that you may see using similar architecture are the LDS Calendar and Ward Directory on the web.  We also have user stories to explore the development on the mobile platform.

If you want to see the application work, go to  Sign in with your LDS Account. You’ll be prompted to register for the previous LDSTech 2011 Conference. Go ahead and do so — the site and its content are there for historical purposes right now. (No one will expect you to show up at an event that already passed.)

Play around in the application by filtering sessions, adding sessions to your schedule, removing them, viewing session details, and so on. Scheduler provides a variety of filters to help you sort and view the sessions.

For more information on Scheduler, see our wiki page at

So ... what are you waiting for?  Come join our team.  Help turn this application into something that could be used for all sorts of small, medium, and large conferences.  You're welcome to contact me with questions. My email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


To get involved in the Scheduler project, sign in with your LDS Account in the sidebar, and then click Projects at the top. Click the Projects subtab to see a list of all community projects. Scroll down and click LDSTech Scheduler in the left column. Then click Join.


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