During the days of my PMP exam preparation, I wanted to have a tool that would help me master certain aspects of the exam. It wasn’t necessarily your usual exam simulator or a flashcard set. However, development of such a tool was clearly “out of scope” for the project at hand, which was PMP Certification. I passed the exam in reasonably good time, but thought that the process could have been more efficient had I got some simple tools. I moved on to other things and the idea didn’t take off. The tool remained a dream.
A year and a half later, when I started this blog, the need to have that tool became stronger. This time we were talking about thousands of people who could benefit from it. I spent weeks searching for “free” tools that would allow me to do what I thought would be useful for PMP aspirants. I inquired with several companies in the field about features, license, cost, and other terms and conditions of their applications. In one way or the other, none of the applications met my requirements. So, the quest continued …
Several months later, I came across a YouTube video in which someone demonstrated creation of auto-evaluating tests using Google Forms. That triggered the idea of creating multiple-choice question (MCQ) quizzes using Google Forms that would not require manual effort to evaluate the responses. I created couple of simple quizzes and posted them on this blog. The response was encouraging enough for me to revive my quest. This time around I found some interesting options and was more hopeful of finding that elusive tool. However, I was disappointed yet again. At that point I decided to develop something of my own.
Though I do some software development at work, I’m not a very hands-on developer now. Time was also a huge issue for me. I wanted to develop content and leave the tool development part to someone else. So, the obvious choice was “outsourcing”. However, my intention had always been to keep the tool free (at least to start with) and had no plans to make huge capital investments at that time. I approached one of my friends (who happens to be good developer) with the idea, and he agreed to develop this tool for me without expecting any immediate reward.
I shared some high level requirements with him and he started developing a prototype. I was quite excited to see some screen mock-ups and prototypes. The dream was finally turning into reality. Well almost, but not quite. He got involved with some personal and professional commitments, and the project took a backseat (obviously because it was charity work for him). I gave him several weeks but it never took off after that. Finally I gave up on him and decided to get my own hands dirty and develop the “dream” tool myself, even if it meant taking three times longer than what any good developer would have taken. It was an uphill task for me.
Three months and uncountable late nights later, I’m glad to share that the dream has realized and the baby has finally arrived in this world. It isn’t anywhere close to where I want it to be, but hey, it’s with us and breathing. I can gradually improve it as much as I want to - my time, imagination, motivation, and most importantly your love being the only limits.
I’m sure that if you have read this far, you are eager to see the baby now. Well, you have to wait a little bit longer. I’m giving it the final touches and hope to get it into your hands very soon. In the next post I’m going to give a brief introduction of the tool and share some screenshots. This is just the beginning.
Image credit: Flickr / Victor Bezrukov