Why Was this Software Written?
The simple answer is that if you've ever been a
Contest Director, Registrar, Volunteer Coordinator, or have helped any of these
people, you probably already know! For the CD, the time period from
the last flight to the final awards ceremony is one of the most hectic in the
contest. There is a box and judging line to clean up, banquet/post-contest
party to coordinate, and lots of people you need to find and talk to.
Meanwhile, there are usually several special awards to be made and the CD has to
figure out who won them from the scorer's final results and some other papers the
registrar has. The VC hands the CD the IAC judging logs and he has to get
them ready for the Chief Judge's signatures. And if that isn't enough, the
CD also has try and remember all of the volunteers, so that they can be properly
acknowledged at the banquet. After the contest is over, there are still
Collegiate Awards and Grassroots programs forms to be filled out, judging
logs to check over (and often recopy), receipts to add up and deposit, ...
Meanwhile the registrar has been shuffling too many Known and Unknown A's and
Chief judge penalty forms, spent too long doing the Orders of Flights, ... The
VC has been busy recopying IAC numbers from Volunteer Forms to Judging Logs,
trying to keep track of the Judge that needs his 30 flights to stay current,
recopying the ragged volunteer assignment sheet with multiple cross-outs and
erasures, and squinting at orders of flight to see if their carefully crafted
assignments will blow up when a volunteer flying at the end of the flight order
is needed somewhere out on the farthest boundary while the Chief Judge is asking
(nicely, we hope!) for the first plane to be launched ... After my
last go as CD, I decided there must be a better way, particularly as most the
information needed already had been collected somewhere during the contest and
all we were doing is shuffling it from one form or place to another.
This software suite is intended to mitigate these
necessary annoyances and let the CD, VC, and registrar do what they need to:
manage people and not data. Managing a moderately large
software package running on several computers can add its own challenges, but
all things considered, has proven to lower the stress level considerably.
I hope it can do the same for your contest!