The thing with big non-profit organizations is that they usually split themselves into regional branches that have their own management and way of doing things. This means that there are very few standards that are permeated to all the regions.
I’ve noticed this problem with 2 of my current projects, especially with IMswimmer, a tool for swimmers and parents to view best times and time standards cuts needed to attend “faster” swim meets.
In order to attend “faster” swim meets, there is usually a minimum time requirement that a swimmer must swim the event in (in order to make the meet go by faster). These time standards (called cuts) define most of the competition/championship meets. So as a year long swimmer, my goal is to qualify for as many high level meets. In order to find these time standards, there are different PDFs with qualifying times sorted by age, gender, and event. These files aren’t even on one webpage as each region has their own cuts to add on to the national qualifying times. When I was still young and had a plethora of events and constantly dropped time, it was hard to keep all these cuts in my head. My father eventually made a spreadsheet that organized all this information to something easy to understand.
Now that I have the programming skills to back me in my endeavours, I’m giving back to the swimming community. :P
So over the course of my senior year, I worked hard on a project that eventually became IMswimmer. It was challenging to organize all the information, but in the end, the result is beautiful. I’m planning to write more about how I was able to get the information, but that’ll be for another time.