Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why programming is so darned useful

I've heard from many students that programming is too much work. No! Programming is for lazy people.

I'm teaching CIS 300 Project Management. I want to take the end of chapter questions from the class textbook and use them for on-line quizzes.

I use software called Moodle for managing the class. The user interface for entering quiz questions into Moodle was designed by trolls, making the tedious process of retyping the questions even more tedious.

I was happy to discover today that the whole book is available via PDF on the included CD. I converted the PDF to plain text. Then ran it through a Perl script to reformat it for Moodle. Then I uploaded the questions to Moodle.

In less time than it would take to enter the questions for one chapter, I had a program to do it automatically.