Recently, I took a hard look at some of the stuff I've been trying to do in the community, and I realized that while some things were effective, others weren't, and some of the latter category weren't working because they were too much work to maintain.
In the latter category was the previous incarnation of the Mid-Atlantic Code Camp website. Based on the ASP.NET Club Site Starter Kit, I put up the original madcodecamp.com to serve as a clearinghouse for all things code camp...pictures, schedules, downloads, etc. At the time that I put the site up, we were working on the very first Reston code camp, and the very idea of code camps was still pretty new in Mid-Atlantic.
One of the things that ended up being somewhat of an afterthought in terms of the development of the site was the schedule of upcoming code camps. Because initially we didn't have many happening, I simply hard-coded the list of upcoming camps, links, etc. into the master page for the site. Of course, this meant that when the code camp was over, I'd have to remove the link manually as well, and add any new ones as they were being planned.
If you're as smart as I think you are, you already know where this is leading...thanks to this poor design, I had a hard time keeping up with the site, so I decided to do an overhaul with an eye to simplification, and trimming the site to a core mission of providing links to upcoming code camps in Mid-Atlantic, and providing the community with the means to add their own camps.
So over the course of about a day and a half this week, I reimplemented the site, starting (almost) from scratch. The functionality supported includes:
Some shortcuts I took to speed development:
The end result of the coding frenzy is a site which, while not as feature-laden, will do a much better job with its core mission of publishing a schedule of upcoming and past code camps and making them more discoverable to the community. the new site makes it possible for the folks organizing code camps to enter their own information, making it easier for me to keep up with all the code camps, and each camp automatically moves from the upcoming to the archive list when the event is over.
This experience reminded me of several things:
Special thanks to all of the great code camp leaders in Mid-Atlantic for reviewing the site while I worked on it, and offering suggestions for improvement, especially:
Do you have a favorite app redesign/refactoring story you'd like to share? Add it to the comments.
PingBack from http://www.universityupdate.com/Technology/AJAX/4674810.aspx
Cool! Local SQL and Visual Studio Team System guru Andy Leonard has a chapter from his upcoming book