How and Why I Built Attendence Calculator

Published Dec 08, 2017
How and Why I Built Attendence Calculator

About me

I'm a student in my senior year of a Computer Engineering program. I started coding in my first year, for the first time, and found it very intriguing because technology always fascinated me.

The problem I wanted to solve

In engineering, there are always issues with calculating how many classes can be missed and still result in a pass so that one can manage both academics and other interests.

What is Attendence Calculator?

A webpage (live now) that calculates how many misses you can have or how many classes you have to attend to have a desired attendance percentage.

Tech stack

I used Excel DAX first, because that was the only thing I knew.
Then, C because it was the best thing I knew.
Finally, I learned some JavaScript to finally create a minimal website.

The process of building Attendence Calculator

I figured out the algorithm during some tutorial physics class that I was not interested in.

In the beginning, I didn't know any language. I just knew some DAX syntax for Excel formulas, which I learned in my fifth class. So, I programmed in an Excel sheet that calculated and predicted how many classes to attend or skip to attain a desired attendance percentage.

In my second semester, I learned C, so I implemented Attendence Calendar in it. Then, in my third semester, we had a small workshop on JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

I made a webpage using those and gave it to friends to provide me with feedback. They said it was too complicated.

Finally, I made it really minimal and simple to use. I then signed up for free hosting and a domain to finally upload my site.

Challenges I faced

I didn't know any specific language when I started — just the algorithm.

Key learnings

You don't need to have expertise in some language to create something useful. It's always the algorithm that plays the main role.

Tips and advice

  • Just start as soon as you get an idea.
  • Always listen to people's needs.
  • Build something first and then keep improving it.
  • Try keeping it simple to use.

Final thoughts and next steps

I am trying to get my college to add this module to their official website so that more people can use it via a common medium and access the college attendance database.

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