Kitware Presentation

Steven vanZyl

Created: 2021-02-10 Wed 09:48

About this Presentation

Feel free to interrupt me with questions, I hope for this presentation to be somewhat informal and more of a discussion than just me talking at you.

About Me

Steven vanZyl

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Senior at RPI

I’m a senior Computer Science and Information Technology & Web Sciences dual-major at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Work Experience

  • Discovery Museum Summer Camps
  • Treehouse Advertising Group
    • I worked here 3 times


I am a student coordinator for the Rensselaer Center for Open Source, which is advised by Dr. Wes Turner, who used to work here at Kitware and who referred me here.


CN VR App Manager

A desktop application for Windows and MacOS that helped salespeople to install and update VR applications on the Oculus headsets provided by Contractor Nation.

This was necessary due to the locked-down nature of the Oculus app store, and to make the process of side-loading apps as user friendly as possible.


  • Golang
  • QT Framework


  • Go and QT have some odd conflicts
  • Multithreading with QT is odd
  • QT is very complicated
  • I just don’t like Go

What Went Well

  • Cross platform support was a breeze
  • HiDPI worked well(-ish)
  • Application came out nicely and was highly usable


A complete rewrite of the RCOS website (which is named Observatory). The old website lacked features and had been unmaintained for a long period.

Due to various reasons this project took a long hiatus, and is now coming back in a new form, hopefully to be finished this time.


  • Rust
  • SQLite
  • Bootstrap


  • Teaching others took up most of my time, so little got done
  • The illusion of progress
  • What may seem like good technical choices may not be in the long run
  • 10% of the work takes 90% of the time

What Went Well

  • Site was largely functional and feature complete
  • Deployment was a breeze
  • Very stable


A web-first bittorrent client, intended to be the one-stop for remote downloading setups and seedboxes.


  • Rust
  • VueJS
  • libtransmission
  • SpectreCSS


  • Trying to get a single-threaded C library to work multithreaded was painful
  • No good alternative BitTorrent libraries (for Rust)

What Went Well

  • It did mostly work, eventually
  • The UI and UX was quite good
  • I still really like the idea and might come back to it

Questions, Comments, Concerns?