Grand Unified SJAA, Feb. 2016

I’ve dubbed our automation effort GUS: Grand Unified SJAA. (This is a continuation from the post in May. If you’re interested in pitching in or just curious, you’re invited to join the Coders group.)

The organizers spend hundreds of man hours every year, so to streamline our various processes, we’ve started the task of automating our major operations:

  • Membership — We’ve grown quite a bit in recent years. The SJAA membership is now about 350, so you can imagine the gymnastics needed to juggle that many on a spreadsheet. Our primary options are 1) Simple Machines Forum + Paypal and 2) Tendenci. The board of directors has already been using SMF to conduct club business so it’s a natural fit. We just started looking at an open source membership management package called Tendenci. The plan is to eventually allow all members access to an SJAA specific forum, all under www.sjaa.net.
  • Events — Believe it or not, we hold roughly 150 distinct events every year. Since we mainly run off the lunar cycle and schedule around twilight, it’s not as simple as scheduling a recurring event on the same week of every month at the same time. We’re designing a system that will automatically:
    • generate all recurring events for a calendar year,
    • update our Google calendars,
    • post events on Meetup,
    • send email announcements, and
    • (perhaps sometime in the not too distant future) post to Twitter and Facebook.

    We’re also looking to automate management of the various tasks associated with each of our events.

  • Libary/equipment loaner programs — Most of the work here is bookkeeping, tracking the various assets. Automation will streamline the process and allows online access to the information.
  • Sign-in — In the past year we started using paper sign-in sheets for our events. This allows us to provide documentation to the city of San Jose which grants us free access to the facilities we enjoy at Houge Park. A digital sign-in system will allow us to take a detailed look at who’s coming to our events and help us to better understand how to reach out to our members as well as the general public.

Coders is currently made up of about a dozen people. We’d like to extend our appreciation for all Coders for their participation and help. Special thanks to:

  • Swami Nigam — set up of SMF
  • Thomas Stucky — library/loaner app coding
  • Murali Balasubramaniam — sign-in app coding
  • John Wainwright — hosting Tendenci during our evaluation, expertise in all things SW
  • Guillermo Jimenéz — looking into Tendenci
  • Satish Vellanki — work on club website
  • Teruo Utsumi — event app coding, GUS architecture

We’ll have updates as we hit future milestones. We’re just getting started, but the system might end up looking something like this:

GUS_arch

Posted in Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*