Sunday, January 20, 2013

Maybe I get ahead of myself. A little Background.

With the barcode integration mentioned in previous posts.. what we were able to do is actually pretty cool.  Honestly though, it wouldn't have worked without Youth Impact committing $3k for an ID card system.  I didn't implement the tech I wanted to, I'd have preferred NFC tech.  It's secure, and the login functionality could have all been handled better, but the problem is that there just aren't enough devices that are low cost, that would support that pathway; considering our budget constraints.

One of the ID cards used at Youth Impact.

At first, I was reliant on this project for my barcodes:   GenCode 128


The program ran with that for a while.  Larry at the front desk had a book of barcodes with pictures and names of the participants and he clocked them in and out.  He had to maintain that book, those pictures and those names and those barcodes.

At a certain point, I integrated Telerik Reporting, and their barcode reporting object, so that they could just export to Excel.  That was $400, that was hard for me to spend, and I guess most amounts of money I spend are hard to spend.  When I pay for things.. they hit me personally.  What I'm able to get for myself or my children, and use to learn.   Being a nerd is expensive.  My wage directly impacts what I can purchase to grow in my career.  A nerd without toys is a nerd that isn't growing.  People think that those toys I have, are for browsing or for my own enjoyment, and I won't lie, I do enjoy them, but without those devices, those toys, I can't learn how to conquer them.  Without software packages.. I have to commit 3-4 times the amount of time I already spend.. which slows development progress to a crawl.  I tried to do native Android.. it wasn't going to work.  Without lambda's and partial classes, I'm half the man I could be.  I had to go .net.  I don't have a vast Development team. It's me, and a guy I know, that I value, and now a younger staff member, who is at Weber State for a comp sci degree.  

Back to the topic at hand though, the great thing about this ID card system, is that now, the kids can directly interact with the systems.. so it isn't just some system behind a computer screen.  With the Android kiosks out there, the possibility is raised that the kids can actually go interact with the systems without a staff member.  

There are so many applications to build to fill all the needs I see.  

There are a lot of donors for Youth Impact.  That contribute at various levels, and in different ways.  I respect their contributions.  I don't have money like they do, I can't help them with cash, but the systems I build might one day be more important than any amount of money I could give.   I guess I'll finish this post off with that.