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Agenda Item: Update on Technology Project (Website & Database)


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#1 Roons

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:47 AM

January 2015 Board Notes

Agenda Item: Update on Technology Project (Website & Database) Executive Director Kim Williams gave an overview of the current status of the Technology Project. The project has been making progress and several modules have been tested. There have been some delays due to having to review and increase security measures as the program is moved online. The updated classification system has gone through testing as have many of the landing pages of the new website. The beta testing has been successful. The tech team members are adjusting their working schedules to be more flexible in the ability to communicate with our overseas partners. There is a 24 to 48 hour delay in email communications due to geography and time-zone differences, so as we move into the next phase of testing communications will be more streamlined and will increase in frequency. Our goal is to do it right the first time and not have to do it over. Because of this and the large amounts of data migration the current target for implementing is May. The classification system will be automated and will enable weekly updates of classification for members on Tuesdays. The new website will have a match sign up module, however at this time it will not have an e-commerce capability. As updates are released we are committed to communicating these exciting changes to our members.

 

Let me tear this apart... 

 

Some history.  I remember in January 2014 there was an update from Kim in FrontSight about how the website will be updated soon "In the coming year, we'll be making key changes ot our website in order to offer a better level of service for our members".. 2 years ago... ANY semi-competent development team can make a major update in 18 months.  They had ALREADY been working on it.  This is not a major e-commerce site.  Anyways...

 

"There have been some delays due to having to review and increase security measures as the program is moved online."

 

Its called basic network security.  If you don't remember then Doodie Search.  Passwords weren't encrypted.  Yeah.. website security 101.  This was 11 months after her post in FrontSight.

 

"The tech team members are adjusting their working schedules to be more flexible in the ability to communicate with our overseas partners."

 

This is my favorite/most rage inducing part.  

 

First, there is a fucking tech team?  I thought it was that one guy in the FrontSight family photo issue.  If there is a team of people that take this long to update a website, its the most inept team ever.  

 

Second, they're going to adjust their work schedules to be more flexible in the ability to communicate with our overseas partners?  Its called work.  Do it.  8 to 5 bitch and figure it out.   However, wait.. who the fuck is this overseas partner??   Let that sink in for a moment.. overseas partner.  Why is there an overseas partner if we have a Tech Team?  When you outsource something like this you do not have control.  You are subject to delays, bullshit, and generally a bad product if you do not do it in house.  Sure it could be some great development team that.. oh wait... see the history of this fucking project.   Is it some sync up with IPSC?  What the fuck is going on here?

 

"There is a 24 to 48 hour delay in email communications due to geography and time-zone differences..."

 

Ok, I don't know what fucking world our "Tech Team" lives on, but on the Earth I currently inhabit, THERE ARE ONLY 24 HOURS IN A DAY!  I work globally with teams, and you know how long it takes to get a response from Ireland, South Africa, Philippines, or Japan via email?   12 to 18 HOURS.  Its called answering emails and doing your job.  If our "overseas partner" can't do that, maybe they're spending too much time snorting heroin from all the cash USPSA is sending them.   I do like the "geography" reference since you know... maybe there is some little Himalayan Guide that has to run a note up to the shack and he gets tired, you know due to all those geographical differences in terrain?  WTF!?!

 

"Our goal is to do it right the first time and not have to do it over." 

 

Classic statement from someone who has already fucked it up.  See the whole security issue above.

 

"... however at this time it will not have an e-commerce capability."

 

Really?  As if there is anything I need to buy from USPSA, but there has been e-commerce do-it-yourself shit out there since 1999.  Jesus Christ.

 

"As updates are released we are committed to communicating these exciting changes to our members."

 

LOL.  Yeah Right.

 

Look, I work in the e-commerce field.  If this type of shit happened, the ENTIRE team would be fired.   I would demand weekly updates and hold all parties accountable for any slips in dates.   This is just simply unacceptable.  We are talking about the core function of USPSA - the classification system and finding matches.  That is it.  If you took away the website, would matches still occur? Yes.  Could we still have major matches?  Yes.  Would anyone know who is classified as what?  No.  USPSA isn't needed for matches, the members take care of that (evident by the fuck-ass state of trying to find local matches on the site).  Its simply classifications, that's all.  Oh, yeah and finding matches would actually help GROW the sport.  Not PCC, not CO, but just new people knowing WHERE THE FUCK TO GO.

 

I'm sorry.  I love this sport, but to see this update, or lack thereof, and realize we are still 4 months away from even a "target for implementing is May" drives me insane with rage.

 

If I missed a deadline, shit would hit the fan.

 

If Kim and the Tech Team misses a deadline.. its "oopsie, sorry, its coming"

 

Time to clean house and get shit done. 


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#2 LeadChucker

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:56 AM

You make some very valid points

#3 ZackJones

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:37 AM

Preach on. As an IT dude myself it makes me wonder why in the hell they had to go outside of our country to find labor to do the work that needed to be done. I seriously doubt there's anything magic in the PhP or MySQL database that couldn't be figured out by someone here in the USA. I think their team is 3 people. Roger and Rick who are in house and Rob who's an external volunteer. I may be completely wrong on the team thing but that's my best guess.


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#4 FireKimNow

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:58 AM

It sounds very similar to the tech update from Dec of 2013.  

 

Mike's ben president for almost a month.  Why is Kim still employed by USPSA? 



#5 ToddKS

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:34 AM

The classification system will be "automated" but only updates on Tuesday. That does not sound very automated in an online world where real time inventory and such is the norm.

#6 Buck Turgidson

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:02 AM

Major weak sauce


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#7 GuanoLoco

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:29 AM

How about a Technology working group with a set of technoogically savvy members to review the plan, provide input and even solutions and to mnonitor progress?

I'm confident that an appropriate team could be found across the USPSA-verse.
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#8 peterthefish

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:20 AM

That update is so generic as to be meaningless. Also sounds like classic poorly managed offshoring.

#9 LeadChucker

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:30 AM

How about a Technology working group with a set of technoogically savvy members to review the plan, provide input and even solutions and to mnonitor progress?
I'm confident that an appropriate team could be found across the USPSA-verse.

  

That update is so generic as to be meaningless. Also sounds like classic poorly managed offshoring.


Still outta "Likes"
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#10 FireKimNow

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 09:22 AM

The classification system will be "automated" but only updates on Tuesday. That does not sound very automated in an online world where real time inventory and such is the norm.

 

It is limited to Tuesday's so that match directors don't have to worry about an update the night before, or in the middle of a match.  Makes sense to me.


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#11 Miculek is a Noob

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:11 AM

I applaud this exquisitely constructed rant from the OP -- well done, sir. You hit on all the major points I planned to.

 

 

It is limited to Tuesday's so that match directors don't have to worry about an update the night before, or in the middle of a match.  Makes sense to me.

 

Are they running such ancient hardware that it takes 11 hours to process the classifier calculations? Why can't it run every night at 1 am Pacific time?


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#12 ToddKS

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:51 AM

Real time is hard....

#13 ZackJones

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:28 PM

Real time is hard....


Granted steel is tiny compared to USPSA but our classifications are calculated daily.
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#14 Miculek is a Noob

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:53 PM

Christ, we're talking about what, a maximum of 25,000 record updates, and that's if every USPSA member shot a match on a given day? .... uhh no. More likely is 5,000 on any given weekend day in the summer. The chip in my smartphone has enough horsepower to run that many db inserts in a few minutes...

 

Now granted, there's probably much more to a classifier run than just inserting records in a table and doing a few calculations, but it sure seems like the bar was set ridiculously low.



#15 GuanoLoco

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:58 PM

Not just insertion of the new classifier...

How many records do you need to read to calculate a new ranking?

How many records need to be updated?
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#16 peterthefish

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:14 PM

Not just insertion of the new classifier...

How many records do you need to read to calculate a new ranking?

How many records need to be updated?

That could just be a scheduled query run regularly. Like multiple times a day. It doesn't have to be done when records are added.

I get its not realtime and think there are probably more efficient ways to manage realtime updates (keeping a rolling average, score to be dropped, and parameters for if score can be added to average in the classifier ranking table), but I assume HQs technical competence means fir an update someone still cuts and pastes the uploaded files as csvs to a big text file, opens it in excel, and then copies and pastes the new records into an access database and then manually runs some queries to do the magic.

#17 FireKimNow

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:25 PM

Do you really need to have your classification updated daily?  If so, talk to Candice.  You're doing it wrong.



#18 GuanoLoco

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:42 PM

Well, monthly is not enough. Weekly may be good enough in practice but begs the question of WHY it needs to be weekly - what (probably unecessary) manual processes are being used to prop the system up?
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#19 ZackJones

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:03 PM

If you think about it a typical match has less than 100 shooters so there really isn't a reason that classifications couldn't be processed for those shooters upon upload. Something like the top 20 list could be a scheduled job to be run on the first of the month.
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#20 LeadChucker

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:03 PM

If you think about it a typical match has less than 100 shooters so there really isn't a reason that classifications couldn't be processed for those shooters upon upload. Something like the top 20 list could be a scheduled job to be run on the first of the month.


Good, but not worthy of one of my precious "Likes"
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