Friday, January 24, 2014

Quarter II: Project Summaries

This quarter we had a hard time coming up with ideas for projects, so we picked something and ran with it.  What started as an attempt to "troll" survey participants, to see how many questions they would be willing to answer,  quickly decayed when Google Forms refused to let us format the survey in such a way that would allow us to effectively do this.  When this occurred Mr. Pethan encouraged us to try and program our own survey, which again diverged into programming a class web application to act as a medium for reviewing the class material.  This all come to a grinding halt as we realized how difficult it is to learn to program when you keep switching languages (Rails to Django) and when there is no one there to mentor you, aside from a few non-interactive online tutorials.  Although we learned a lot through this project,the our attempt at reaching our goal was a blithering failure.

The second project we did this quarter was our community outreach project.  For this we set out to analyze the expected growth of Byron in relation to the expansion of the tax base as applicable to the prospective levy involved in funding the proposal for a new K-2 building for the Byron Public School District.  This may seem like a mouthful, but in actuality it could be a relatively simple project if it were not for one thing.  Our primary issue is that all of the data that we require for this project is held by Olmsted County, and as with any request submitted to the government, everything takes time as you work your way through the bureaucratic system.  If it were not for the multi-week waiting periods for information or the multiple phone transfers between departments looking for someone to help, this project would have gone a lot more smoothly.

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