Software Fit for purpose

A recent conversation triggered a memory of some work I did around fifteen/sixteen years ago.

It was the start of the academic year - for induction we were expected to use some diagnostic software. Unsurprisingly it did not work - as it was incompatible with the novell infrastructure in use.

As this test helped apportion support and key skills level. With staffing and timetables affected by this - we were up a well known creek sans paddle.

Enthusiastic and desperate to solve the problem - we manage to get a copy of the diagnostic questions and reverse engineer the answers.

That weekend, before the induction week and much to my wifes dismay. I set about coding a javascript version - understanding that at that time this was as close to interoperable as we could get.

Armed with floppy disk (yes that was all that was needed) - I arrived at work on the Monday did a quick dry run and we were up and running assessing around 900 students across the campus.

A considerable amount was spent on the original software - yet my version was used for a few years. Simple to run, colleagues, tech support and students alike could use it. I could have sat back and treated it as somebody elses problem. Yet knowing the impact on learners and colleagues alike - I preferred to solve the problem.


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