Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cowman, J., Klein, B., Luchsinger, N., Shiohira, J., & Young, C. 2020. Creating the New Face of Buildertrend. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Joseph Cowman, Brady Klein, Nathan Luchsinger, Jacob Shiohira, and Christian Young. 2020.


This Design Studio project assisted construction management software company Buildertrend in its transformational effort to migrate its primary web application to a more modern technology stack. Over 12 years, the company had built its platform on a combination of technologies ASP.NET Webforms and KnockoutJS. As the web application grew in complexity and the company introduced companion mobile applications for iOS and Android, the development cost required to maintain parity across the various platforms became significant. Buildertrend decided to rewrite its flagship web application in the popular Javascript framework React, developed by Facebook. By migrating to this new technology, Buildertrend aimed to save on development costs by reducing the web application's code complexity and allowing all of the company's applications to rely on the same backend services. The Design Studio team was responsible for analyzing existing pages on Buildertrend's website and migrating them from either ASP.NET Webforms or KnockoutJS to React. The team collaborated with Buildertrend software engineers in a shared codebase and used Agile practices to deliver completed pages iteratively. Several of the completed pages were well-trafficked on Buildertrend's site, visited by thousands of users monthly. In addition to developing pages, the team researched and pitched an automated user interface (UI) regression testing tool, called Chromatic, to Buildertrend engineers. Based on the team's research, adopting such a tool could save thousands of dollars in development hours.