Jobs up and running on the Demo Site

I have update the wp-SwimTeam demo site with a preliminary version which includes the new jobs module.  I expect I will release it over the weekend at some point.   You can see what a sample page or post would look like for a swim meet.  From the Administrative perspective, a similar report is available but includes more details (e.g. phone numbers).

I had a chance to show this to the woman who coordinates volunteers for the MacDolphins and she was pretty excited about it.  It should make her job much easier and it will also make it much easier for parents to know when they have signed up to volunteer.

I want to do a little more testing on it before I release it but I am pretty confident it is working pretty well.

Jobs module is almost done

This past week I have made quite a bit of progress on the jobs module.  Everything seems to be working, I just have some polish and testing to finish up before I will release it.  The basic job work flow works like this:

  1. Define a job – title, description, duration, etc.
  2. Allocate a job to a season or to one or more swim meets.  This action connects a job to a specific season or meet and defines the number of positions required.
  3. Assign job ownership.  This can be done by either the administrator or by end users themselves.  End users cannot assign themselves jobs which are already assigned to another user.  An administrator can change the assignment of a job from one person to another.  Job assignment can be performed in couple different ways:
    • Full or Partial Season long jobs can be assigned from the Seasons tab.
    • Full or Partial Meet long jobs can be assigned from the Swim Meets tab.
    • A specific job can be assigned from the Jobs tab.

The Swim Meet Report has been enhanced to include a Job Assignment section and a new short code has been defined to allow a meet specific job report to be added to a page or post easily.  The wp-SwimTeam demo site will be updated shortly to show some of the new features.

Export Roster to Meet Manager

If you have followed my posts on this blog you know that I have been frustrated by Hy-Tek Team Manager and Meet Manager along with Hy-Tek customer support.

While I may not care for Hy-Tek or their products, the fact is they have a dominant market share and a lot of teams use Team Manager, Meet Manager, or both.   I was  contacted this week by a high school coach who was looking for some SDIF assistance in getting his roster into Meet Manager.  Now I don’t have access to Meet Manager but I do have pretty good understanding of the SDIF specification so I was able to help him out with some example SDIF files.

In the process of helping him out I came across an old e-mail regarding importing a roster into Meet Manager.  At the time I was interested in Team Manager so didn’t give it a lot of thought.  Looking at the old e-mail I realized that if it worked, I could export the file format very easily from wp-SwimTeam.  I went ahead an implemented it, now I am looking for someone to try it out.

Sample Reports

Download Sample Exports Version v1

The zip file above contains three versions of the same roster – CSV, SDIF (.sd3), and Meet Manager Registration (.re1).  Extract the Meet Manager Registration file from the zip file.  It is an ASCII file that contains swimmers records, one per line with the following fields delimited by semicolons:

  1. Registration number
  2. Last name
  3. First name
  4. Middle initial
  5. Sex
  6. Birthdate
  7. Club abbreviation
  8. Club name
  9. Preferred first name
  10. ?? – unknown what this last field is; it’s always “N” in the examples provided

To import the file into Meet Manager, follow these steps:

  1. Set up a new meet database.  You only need to go through the first setup screen, the one where you put in the meet name, date, and length of course.  To make my particular file work, select “USA Swimming” for the ID format.  If you have something other than USA Swimming numbers for swimmer labels, select “Other”.  Normally, for a kids’ meet, you’d select “USA Swimming” for the ID format or “Other” if you are not using USA Swimmer numbers for simmer labels.
  2. From the main Meet Manager menu, select “FILE”
  3. Select “IMPORT”
  5. Locate and choose the .RE1 file that contains the roster.

After completing these steps, go to the “Athletes” screen in Meet Manager.  The swimmers contained int he RE1 file should bYou should see all of the athletes’ names that you saw in the RE1 file.

If this works for you, please leave a comment!

Volunteers progressing

Over the last couple of days I have finally made some visible progress on the Jobs module. I am still not wild about the term “allocate” but it is the best I have come up so I am proceeding with it.

At this point I am able to define jobs, allocate a job and quantity required against a swim meet and make some refinements of the allocation. I also have the beginning of the assignment to a specific user GUI done but not the backend functionality. I am optimistic that I may finish a first pass this weekend.

Making progress on Volunteers

Progress on volunteers has been slower than I thought it would be.  It turns out that jobs, which is how I refer to the various roles that volunteers take on within wp-SwimTeam, is harder than I thought it would be.

The underlying data is fairly easy to manage but how to present the jobs, associate them with a season or swim meet, and then assign people to fill them has been a challenge.  I think the reason I am struggling with this is I am not happy with the terminology I am using.  There are three aspects to the Jobs functionality:

  1. Definition of jobs:  Titles, descriptions, duration, etc. 
  2. Allocation of jobs:  Jobs are allocated to either a season or a swim meet or multiple meets.  The number of positions for each job will vary.  For example, the number of timers needed is dependent on the number of lanes the host pool  has.  You might need four timers one week and then three the next.
  3. Assignment of jobs:  Connecting a name to a particular job.  The Lane 2 timer at meet XYZ will be Betty Jones.  The Announcer at meet ABC will be Tom Burns.

I am ok with the “Definition” of jobs and the “Assignment” of jobs but I don’t like the term “Allocation” but I can’t think of anything better.  If you have a suggestion, drop me a comment!