For the last 2 weeks I’ve been coding like crazy to get a new website going for Neumont. The teacher evaluations website. I had forgotten what it was like to code under a deadline since most of my projects at work do not have strict due dates I usually give estimates like "it will be ready in a week" or in "in a month".
This site had to be ready to take evaluation responses tomorrow. And I got it ready on Friday, a little too close than what I’d have liked. The admin pages and reports are still not 100% done but I still have a couple of weeks to finish that and that is plenty of time.
If you’re not a computer science nerd, you can stop reading now.
So this website has some pretty cool things and I’m proud to have completed it in just 2.5 weeks.
- It is active directory (AD) integrated so our students do not need an extra login to access it. They simply use the same credentials they use to log in to their laptop. The thing that was hard about this was not talking to AD since the .NET Framework 3.5 has some superb classes to do this. The hard part was to get the ties between the AD users (students and teachers) and our Learning Management System (Moodle) users.
- It pulls the student, class, and term information from Neumont’s core Student Information System (SIS): CampusVue.
- It uses Linq to access the DB. Since Linq came out a long time ago, I’ve been using it as much as I can but this is the first big project that I start from absolute scratch since Linq came out. Linq saved me TONS of time and this is coming from a strongly typed dataset guru.
- I got to write some pretty cool WebControls to display the survey in preview mode, take mode, and results mode. All very organized, I used some of the good old design patters and I got to do some polymorphism. I feel like it’s been a year since I wrote something that took advantage of polymorphism; not because it is not useful but because I’ve been mostly maintaining code that I did not start.
I feel like my code is entirely hack-free and I love that. That is the advantage of starting a code project from scratch. Of those 2.5 weeks, one was dedicated entirely to Designing the solution (DB and core classes) on my whiteboards.