Back into HTML. Over the last 8 months I’ve been pretty rigorously building a web application in ASP.NET, which is a related, but unique experience. What I make here won’t be dependent on the Microsoft tools used to create it, nor will it have the benefits of those shortcuts. However, the principle is the same, client side activity is sent to the server and the server responds in kind.
For this project I’ll be using Aptana Studio 3 as a web IDE, which has served me well in the past. I’ve already created the index page and synced my Aptana project with my PS11 account. I think that should serve well enough. The tricky part will be interacting with mySQL, as I’ve been spoiled by the SQL Server Management Studio and don’t know any other way to do it.
My project is a Employee Engagement System. I’m interested in gamifying common work tasks so that a job can feel more like play and so that employees can see how they’re contributing. At it’s core, it’s a task list, like the iPhone app EpicWin, which let’s an individual set up tasks that award them points for completion. The biggest problem with a lot of these systems to me has been accountability. Essentially the system relies on guilt, and ultimately it’s stupid to sign yourself up for disappointment and failure, especially when there’s a good chance that you won’t see something through.
Instead, my system implements accountability in the form of a supervisor. An employee’s supervisor gets to decide tasks and assign value to them. The supervisor also gets to decide rewards for different levels of completion. To further expand the concept, tasks have a handful of categories. It might be a repeated task, like resolving a helpdesk ticket, which is just a daily part of the job. A task could be a project that is separated into a series of subtasks that must be completed. The cool one to me is the set of tasks that an employee pursues outside of work, like volunteering, educating themselves for their career, or innovating some idea for the company.
To use the technologies outlined by the course, well, HTML/HTML5 and CSS/CSS3 are really only good for a user interface. I’d like to give it a Metro style feel, maybe with tiles or charms and big selectable areas so it’s touch friendly. I imagine there are some powerful CSS3 things I’m going to enjoy using. I have a layout in mind that is HTML5 friendly, but I’ll start it out in XHTML1.1 since that’s what I’m familiar with. Overall, I’ll have a header with a menu that dictates what goes into the left pane menu. Selections from the left pane dictate what shows up in the middle content, and the right pane and bottom pane will be a list of permitted actions for the item displayed in the middle content. If I do it right, I won’t have to create separate views or dashboards for what is done by a supervisor and what is done by an employee.
I don’t know how PhoneGap is going to turn out. They were discussing it at the company I was interning at before I left, but I do want to see the transition to mobile development. Part of the reason I want a touch friendly feel in the first place.
I’m going create a login splash page, no functionality, just to start defining the aesthetic. One of the teachers asked for an online form to be created, so I’ll be practicing the techniques I learn there first, then transferring those skills to this project, so I’m hopeful that I’ll have something cool by the end of all of this.