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Week 7 – Choices Hospitalised Me.

Skills Demonstrated
– User Consultation
– Specification Acquisition
– Adding Functionality to Legacy Code


This was another successful week working on choices. Just like the previous six weeks. Due to my mangers spontaneous expedition to Iceland, Docpot was put on hold. I’ve been to Iceland before, didn’t take me a whole week to get my groceries though…(Sorry).

The medical department uses a convoluted method to allocate students to their courses. This requires a separate allocation algorithm due to the uniqueness of their demands. Last year they split the students into three cohorts depending on their background. Some students were able to pick a language in both slots; some could not as one slot was pre-allocated. This needs changing now. It turns out that choices has finally forced me to make an appointment in the hospital. Meetings are much more productive when all parties are in the same room, even if that room is in a dark corner of a large city hospital. The medical department was a pleasure to work with. It’s refreshing when an agreed solution doesn’t need a complete reworking of existing code.

Kev and I split the work between ourselves. The endgame was to ask questions about the language options so students were aware of the requirements. There were three difficulties of a language: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each required varied qualifications. We needed to implement questions which are only asked when a student pick specific options. If the student does not pick the option, the answer should be set to a default false value. Kev worked on making actions to add choosers to groups depending on their options. I made the changes to the add and edit questions pages to allow a admin to add this functionality to their form. Using what I learnt last week, I refactored the questions controller so it was easier to work with. I cannot stress the usefulness of testing enough!

We got a working demo working by Friday. Kev was showcasing it to the medical department this morning. There are a few minor bugs to fix but they seemed happy with our progress.

I am now over half way through my internship. Choices starting to look healthier now. I know I say every week but I am looking forward to when i can move on from choices. This week TIDT are doing WAISFest, which is a hackathon hosted by the university. It should give me a good enough reason to escape choices. We shall see…

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