Home » Uncategorized » Co-op 2 Highlights 5

Co-op 2 Highlights 5

This past week was a flurry of activity.  With the bitter cold weather and snow/ice, our sister organization closed for services last Wednesday.  I received the text message at 10pm on Tuesday and activated the ‘Closed for Services’ banner on their website.  I also composed and posted a Facebook post with this information.  I have become very aware of the importance of timely web updates, especially in the case of weather this winter season.  It is so important for website managers or web developers to think about projects with the end user and their customer in mind.  And, timeliness is incredibly important.  If I had waited until 8am the next morning to post that ‘Closed for Services’ banner and the Facebook post, it would have been too late and volunteers would have already been onsite preparing for the day.

Last week also included adding content for the new WordPress website that we created a week or so earlier.  There is a conference being hosted here in May and this website will be specifically used to provide information and provide a registration link for guests.  The actual registration is being handled through a third-party vendor, Acteva, which we have used in years past for registration.  I have added content to this site and modified the CSS to suit our needs and desires for the look of the site.  We chose a template from WordPress, but then are able to go in to the CSS file and make changes as needed.  For instance, currently the active links are a bright blue color and some links are located on a section with that same bright blue background.  So, they are not visible unless you happen to hover over the link (it then changes to another color).  Changing this active link color is a small thing, but will play a part in how the end user views the site and accesses different pages.

Additionally, I worked on defining the tables for the SQL database for the Attendance capstone project.  This included a meeting with our Associate Director of IT to talk through a couple of different scenarios for how the data gets entered, who would enter the data, and how we would like to report on that data.  Currently, one of my main questions or decision points seems to be setting this website (the Attendance Portal – capstone project) up as an MVC website (using Model-View-Controller logic) or setting it up as a Web Forms website.  I have more experience with the Web Forms style and feel that I could use that to meet the needs for this project.  The capstone instructor leans toward the MVC-type websites, so I am feeling like that is the way I should go (in order to please him), although I have very little experience with creating MVC websites.  This was introduced in one chapter of my second C# class last semester.  Because this project may ultimately be imported or incorporated over to the Vine (our MySQL database), I was curious about which way (MVC or Web Forms) would be better for this future adaptation.  Over the weekend, I emailed our contractor, Mark, who has done a large amount of building and developing the Vine over the last 15 years or so, to get his thoughts on which path to take here.  Once I hear from him, I think I will be able to make a decision and begin development.

2 thoughts on “Co-op 2 Highlights 5

  1. Kim, one of the things that has been the hardest for some of those in our department to fully embrace is the customer component. There are urgent situations that require that we put the needs of our end users and customers in front of our own – exactly as you described in the bad weather example. Good call – you were being very pro-active!

    It will also be very beneficial if you continue developing your skills of asking good clarifying questions of those that come to you with requests. We found that the more precise we can be in the planning stages – the less time, frustration and cost overruns we tend to have. What we do with our development projects is to meet with our users/costumers to get the concept – then come back to them with a mock-up. At that point we strategically talk through any tweaks they may desire – and give them input as to ramifications. We then have them sign off on the project and the developers move forward. Any concept changes that the users/customers decide to make from here-on-out are budgeted separately and are not part of the initial quote. All that to say – if you can figure out ways to keep your project from scope-creep, the better for everyone!

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