Development of the Conference Center Scheduling Software at the Kellogg Biological Station
Penix, James S.
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The Conference Center at the Kellogg Biological Station coordinates and sets up various classes, lectures, and conferences held at the station. Due to the number of conferences held each year, some of which are planned as early as two or three years in advance, the Conference Center was having difficulties gathering all the necessary information for a given day or week. A decision was made to automate and to computerize the collection of information necessary to prepare and organize the various conferences. A package was needed to produce daily schedules or summaries that would provide the information such as food, room arrangements, audio and visual equipment, and lodging requirements. For the Conference Center, it would be more cost effective if an intern was hired to develop a software package to manage the information. By having an intern develop the software for them, the center had the luxury of having a software package that fit their needs as closely as possible, and, if in the future their needs change, they would have the source code and the needed documentation to make modifications or changes without purchasing a new package. The goal was to provide a working program quickly enough so the Conference Center would remain interested in having a package developed at the station rather than purchase software for a micro computer. The difficulty with this project was fulfilling the needs of the Conference Center quickly, while at the same time providing readable, maintainable code that someone could modify years from now without major revisions to the existing code.