Knowledge@Wharton High School Coming Soon

I’m pleased to report that the Knowledge@Wharton team launched a pre-release site for the upcoming Knowledge@Wharton High School. If you are, or know any high school students send them along. We’re launching in February 2009, and as part of that, are holding an essay contest with prizes. I don’t think we’ve spelled out what those prizes are, but from discussions I’ve heard, they’re pretty awesome.

It’s powered by ColdFusion 8, and Flash Video. I worked on the backend details: hosting, network configuration, database CRUD. My co-worker Sanjay did the design and UI, and my boss Dave, did the Flash video setup. The time it took us to go from mockup to finished product was very short – we did this much quicker than I had done before for non-personal project. I know it isn’t a huge site, but after years of working on nothing but backend systems that never get seen by the public, it was extremely satisfying to work on something that wasn’t behind a corporate login.

A couple other things make me happy about this. Squidhead powered backend development, which made dealing with last minute schema changes a snap. It also used the core application framework that I’ve been developing for Knowledge. It was the first project we did with the new one click build process. It uses, SVN commit hooks, ANT, and ColdFusion calling ANT to allow for:

  • Automatic publishing of SVN checked-in content to a shared development server
  • 1 Click publishing of checked in content to a shared development server (In case automatic is too slow)
  • 1 Click publishing of shared development space to staging
  • 1 Click publishing of staging to production
  • 1 Click publishing of SVN checked-in content to development to staging to production

This new model allowed for both a thoughtful develop and review process during development, and was flexible enough to allow for rapid content updates when we were rolling out production.

All in all, it was awesome to use all of the stuff I learned about over the past two years at cf.Objective to do my job.

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