Community Project at TechEd 2006 Australia

This year at TechEd I will be spending most of my time in the Dev’Garten helping developers, testers, business analysts, and architects get across Visual Studio Team System. Rather than produce squillion HelloWorld team projects in Team Foundation Server we have decided to do something useful and build one solution to help The Smith Family as part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program.

So – what are we building? Well, The Smith Family under Unlimited Potential runs an adult computer literacy program which is distributed around various regional facilities in Australia. At the beginning of the program the person undertaking the program fills in a survey in which they describe various things about their comfort level with computers, at the end of the program they fill in another survey and the results are collected and analysed to determine how effective the program is and to make any adjustments.

At the moment The Smith Family uses a combination of paper based forms, manual data entry and Microsoft Excel to perform this function.

The plan is to produce a web-based application that will be accessible over the Internet which allows someone to fill in these details in an online form – thus significantly reducing the time it takes to input the forms in, but also improve the data quality, ideally we’ll still be able to use the analytical capabilities of Microsoft Excel on the backend.

Call for Help

Sounds pretty straight forward? Not quite – we have only three days to get this done which means that we are going to need a core team of folks who are willing to help out with this project and help guide the efforts of others. My current thinking is that the core team needs:

  • The Build Guy (me)
  • The Web Guy/Gal
  • The Database Guy/Gal
  • The Excel Guy/Gal

If you are already coming to TechEd 2006, are interested in volunteering to work on something that will give you a warm fuzzy feeling then please shoot me an e-mail at (please specify your strongest area when you nominate yourself).


18 thoughts on “Community Project at TechEd 2006 Australia

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  4. brendan murley

    Congratulations. I think its a fantastic idea. Good luck. An analyst and a tester might not go astray though. But I suspect the talent on the team will more than cover it off.

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  9. Chris OConnor

    Online form ? Wouldn’t that be a good candidate for InfoPath and Forms Server within Sharepoint-2007 ?!?

    And some windows workflow bits too – approval process within SPS – out-of-the-box.

  10. Mitch Denny

    Hi Chris,

    You know – SharePoint 2007 would be perfect for this, but one of the places where The Smith Family will be using this software is with people that have virtually no computer skills when they start the program. So the amount of visual noise in SharePoint 2007 could be more confusing.

    A simple web page is the ideal approach in this particular instance I think.

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