So my blog has been pretty quiet lately and I thought I’d let you know why. With a small team, I’ve been building GiveAQuiz.com.
Several months ago I was working with a client who wanted me to put together a short quiz on Silverlight to help determine which of their developers got to join their Silverlight team. So I did what I always do, I searched the Internet for some small startup site that let’s me accomplish the task at hand. Unfortunately all I found were logs of ‘survey’ sites that would let me put together some questions but only receive summary results. The one site I found that would let me build a quiz, only would let me print a PDF of the quiz to give to people by hand. This got me thinking about how a site that let people give quizzes might not only be helpful to people like me, but also to teachers of all kinds. I was determined to create the site…when I had free time (yeah, I know).
As I had chances, I would do some small part of the planning. When I wrote a SketchFlow article, I used the opportunity to prototype some of the screens for the article. But to get the site really built, I needed help. To the rescue came Microsoft and Chris Sells. Chris and I decided we wanted to build the site in the same spirit as NerdDinner.com. Microsoft would help fund the development of the site and I would write a whitepaper and do some videos on how we built the site.
I put together a small team consisting of Chris Rauber (ASP.NET MVC dev extraordinaire), Dennis Estanislao (designer savant) and myself to build this site. The site is now live, but is in a private beta mode (where you can e-mail me to get an account for a limited number of users) until we get the bugs out.
Building the site was a lot of fun and we got to mix a lot of technologies inlcuding:
- .NET 4.0
- ASP.NET MVC 2
- Silverlight 4
- Entity Framework 4
- WCF Data Services 4
- Visual Studio 2010
- SQL Server Project Type (e.g. Data Dude)
- SQL Server 2008 R2
- SQL Server Reporting Services
From the beginning the expectation was to have the source code available under MS-PL so that it could be an exemplar for other developers to see how a site with the latest Microsoft stack. You can find the current version of the source code on CodePlex at http://giveaquiz.codeplex.com. We are accepting new members to help implement new features after launch so if you’re interested in helping, feel free to apply on the CodePlex site. We we do a formal release of code once the private beta is complete. We also used AgileZen.com (who graciously granted us a free license since we were working on an open source project) and using it for workflow between disconnected members turned out really well. Love the product!
So now its your turn, I want to ask you my readers to check out GiveAQuiz.com and ask for a private beta account. The first twenty-five people who contact me at “shawn at giveaquiz dot com” will get into the private beta. Help us find the bugs please!