Even though I deliberately stayed away from writing a blog post this week as I was pretty busy working on several projects, I’ve really missed the process of writing something to the blog each day… so here’s one for ya 🙂
This weekend I decided to start sit down and hack away at an idea that I’ve been thinking about for some time. Here is the problem as I see it.
- Young eager teenagers of Trinidad and Tobago are more often than not itching to get their hands on their driver’s permit as soon as they hit the age of 17. I know when I was that age, I had a pretty hard time sourcing the Driving Regulations Hand book.
- Form the Transport authority’s perspective, several other problems could be found in the execution of the examination. For one, today, in the year 2012, The Licensing Authority of Trinidad and Tobago are still conducting the driving regulations examination using a “paper and pencil” method.
This means that all the exam papers are printed with the same questions, in the same order, with each question having the same answers in the same order as well. Using this method, we’re increasing the potential of these tests to be compromised through cheating as it is far easier to peek at a neighbour’s “answers” if we’re all doing the same paper based exam.
The other thing that I distinctly recall when I did my regulations exam many years ago, was the the questions and answers on the exam paper were in the exact same order as they were in the regulations handbook. When I hear about road fatalities on the evening news, I often wonder if some of these could have been prevented had the effectiveness of this test were improved. This is just a thought of course and one variable in the equation, either way…
I set about to improve this situation with a simple web application that took about 10 hours of fragmented development, testing and deployment time.
The premise of the application is simple, it will allow users to practice writing the Trinidad and Tobago Driving Regulations online, either via a Desktop browser or a mobile phone browser. The application will randomize the order of the questions as well as the order of the answers making it ever so slightly more difficult to find the correct answer.
I can certainly pile on the complexity and the feature set of this application fairly easily, however, this app represents one of my MVP (Minimum Viable Product) experiments.
Will users find the application useful? what would the like to see added on to the application? What will be the spread across mobile v.s. desktop visitors? Will they tell others about the application? These are some of the questions that I would be attempting to answer and ultimately learn from.
Anyone can check out the application @ http://caribbeandrivequiz.com
For the hackers out there that would like to know, I put together this application using nothing by ASP.NET MVC4 (still in beta), and some LINQ to XML. I’m not very proud of what is under the hood, but it’s more than solid enough to get me the answers that I need from the application that would help me to decide the future of this project.
Please take the application for a spin, tell your teenage siblings, friends, family about it, heck just go try it out to see home much you still remember from you regulations handbook. There may be some errors in the questions, but feel free to drop me a line about it.