Skip to main content

Preparing for New Ratings System

In January we will start in earnest on rewriting the "Student Ratings" system. The system is to allow students to rate their professors and the courses they are taking. (I am hoping we can change the name of the system to better reflect what it does. We aren't rating the students, after all. That is what grades are for.)

Gene and I had a good conversation with Nate W. and Tom M. today about the general design principles of the system. This is a project where we are going to try out our model of having separate teams work on the UI and the web services and treat them as parallel projects. Our hope is that we can get better and more reliable web services if they are ONLY way to talk to a system rather than just the tack-on way that the main programmers don't use because direct-to-database is faster.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beyond Scrum?

[Adapted from a post to our internal Slack team.]

My manager has been working to get an agile consultancy into our university's central IT department to help us progress in our journey toward being more agile. I hope that the training and coaching we receive will focus more on the root principles of value in agile processes rather than on a single process like Scrum.

Are there any root agile principles that you think we need to be better at embracing? Here are some that come to mind for me.
Develop functionality vertically instead of horizontally. You don't create the database layer all the way, and then the web services layer all the way, and finally--after 9 months--start to create the web user interface. Instead, you find a way to introduce a complete feature that touches all those technology layers so that you can get real feedback about the usage and value of the system or feature.Be willing to throw things away. If we're going to experiment, we have to be okay buildin…

Making People Feel Stupid: A Cardinal Sin in Design

People will go to great lengths and inconvenience to avoid appearing or feeling stupid. A great example of when design makes a user feel stupid comes from Alan Coopers 1999 book The Inmates are Running the Asylum on page 24. Cooper is talking about the keyless entry system on his car keys.
"The large button locks the car and simultaneously arms the alarm. Pressing the button a second time disarms the alarm and unlocks the car. There is also a second smaller button labeled 'Panic.' When you press it, the car emits a quiet warble for a few seconds. If you hold it down longer, the quiet warble is replaced by the full 100-decibel blasting of the car alarm, whooping, tweeting, yowling, and declaring to everyone within a half-mile that some dolt--me--has just done something execrably stupid. What's worse, after the alarm has been triggered, the little plastic device becomes functionally inert, and further pressing of either button does nothing. The only way to stop that hon…