A simple, intuitive, aid for contract or supply teachers in a school, the application will provide the teacher with: A Daily timetable of classes Class lists for each class Regular teacher's notes on the class. A teacher should be able to pick up a tablet on arriving at the school for the first time, and easily se it to guide their school day. The teacher will be able to use the application to take the class role, make notes about the class or individual students, which can then be provided to the regular teacher, or subsequent covering teachers allowing for continuity. The ability to import and export data to school systems will also be integrated.
Using VS2012 the app will be C# WPF based using the MVVM pattern as outlined in my previous articles. As a sole developer, the app will be developed using rapid prototyping to speed my learning curve. The GUI for each area of the app will be designed first - allowing for a non-functional prototype to be available quickly. Once complete, the 'logic' will be developed for each area - allowing for R&D time for some of the techniques. The emphasis will be on ease of use - so much time will be spent in GUI and usability design. Within the timescale of the contest it will not be possible to integrate with existing back-end educational systems - but a simple XML export should be able to be provided as a proof of concept of this area.
Well, I had to start somewhere, so I created the bare bones of my project based on my MVVM articles
Having gotten the initial application up and running I set about creating some 'fake' data. My aim is to get the app working with fake data - so no persistence to start with - I can add a DB layer later on when everything else is working.
It took me a surprisingly long time to get this stage up and running. I created design-time data for my views - and it wasn't displaying. After trying heaps of stuff, I was still having no luck.
This was pretty much my first time using VS2012 in anger - so imagine my anger when I re-started VS and the design time data miraculously appeared! I suffered this a lot with a large project in VS2010 - so I should have thought about restarting - but two years on I think I expected improvements!
I must say, my mood wasn't improved when I added to this article only to have my changes lost when I clicked on the contributor's agreement link!
Anyway, after my first programming session, I now have classes for:
Classroom, Lesson, Student, Teacher, Subject
So the substitute teacher
"Teaches Subject in Classroom which is normally taught by Teacher to these Students as this Date and Time"
And we call that a Lesson
And I have a small set of test data to play with.
Next step is to expand on the classes required, and start working on my design skills to make the whole thing look pretty!
You'd think I'd realise by now that a) GUI Design can be left until later - it's more important to get the thing working than have it looking pretty, and b) I'm crap at GUI design!
Actually that's not fair on me - I"m not really that bad, but I don't have the patience to get it looking exactly how I want.
Case in point, I just 'wasted' an afternoon playing with different styles to try to get by Lesson Details view looking 'Just So'
It still looks rubbish.
Time t practice what I preach and to gt more coding done regardless as to how pretty it's looking.
I've been a software developer since 1978 - that's 35 years for the mathematically challenged. I've written computer games (PooperPig was top of the download charts in the 80's), accounting software, banking systems, jewellery valuation packages, medical systems - the list goes on. I recently graduated as a teacher, and believe this app will fill a genuine gap in the market and would be expandable to provide a useful interface for regular teachers as well as supply and contract teachers.
Software Developer (Senior)
Software developer par excellence,sometime artist, teacher, musician, husband, father and half-life 2 player (in no particular order either of preference or ability)
Started programming aged about 16 on a Commodore Pet.
Self-taught 6500 assembler - wrote Missile Command on the Pet (impressive, if I say so myself, on a text-only screen!)
Progressed to BBC Micro - wrote a number of prize-winning programs - including the best graphics application in one line of basic (it drew 6 multicoloured spheres viewed in perspective)
Trained with the MET Police as a COBOL programmer
Wrote platform game PooperPig which was top of the Ceefax Charts for a while in the UK
Did a number of software dev roles in COBOL
Progressed to Atari ST - learned 68000 assembler & write masked sprite engine.
Worked at Atari ST User magazine as Technical Editor - and was editor of Atari ST World for a while.
Moved on to IBM Mid range for work - working as team leader then project manager
Emigrated to Aus.
Learned RPG programming on the job (by having frequent coffee breaks with the wife!!)
Moved around a few RPG sites
Wrote for PC User magazine - was Shareware Magazine editor for a while.
Organised the first large-scale usage of the Internet in Australia through PC User magazine.
Moved from RPG to Delphi 1
Developed large applications in Delphi before moving on to VB .Net and C#
Became I.T. Manager - realised how boring paper pushing can be
And now I pretty much do .Net development in the daytime, while redeveloping PooperPig for the mobile market at night.