State Scholarships Foundation (IKY in greek) is the official organization who manages scholarships in Greece and once again i was asked to develop a web platform to manage applications for scholarships. If you read my previous post i had already worked on a similar project for a different scholarships program, but for some reason it wasn't organized and managed my IKY but by a sub-division inside the Ministry of Education. Till this day i haven't figured out why. Greece the country of amazing and bizzare things ;p
Thankfully IKY knew how to run things and it was so much easier to work with them. The web platform beside the applications it had to also manage the evaluation process. The sytem had to manage evaluators who were independent professors from all over the world and blind assing applications to evaluators with the proper scientific background. Huge project and probably my best work from last year. Time for info and pictures
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- Completion Time: 6 weeks plus 8 weeks for tech support for applicants and evaluators
- August - November 2011
The website was hosted here http://apps.gov.gr/minedu/iky_scholarships, unfortunately this year they didn't use my application. Back in February i got an email from my old partner in Greek Ministry of Education asking for help. Unfortunately i had no time to spare and my military obligations were coming up and i kinda ignored him. For some reason all the programmers in Minedu and IKY didn't do PHP. Most of them were java and asp programmers. My guess is that they didn't found someone who could manage my application and decided to either make a new platform from scratch or and most likely gave the job to a private company. They were going to do the same last year as well, their budget allowed it, but as i later learnt they couldn't find a company to finish the project in such a short time.
I am really regretting not responding to my old partner, now i am broke, unemployed and too embarrassed to call them back asking if there is any opening for a web programmer. Hopefully something will come up soon.
This was the first project i competed for the Greek Ministry of Education last year. Through bilateral agreements students from Greece can apply for scholarships to study abroad and the opposite. The selection is done by the students country and they are accepted by the univercity abroad whithout interviews and cv. The project had problems from the beggining. Part of the blame is on me because of my inexperience at the time, i though i had to work with people who actually understood the problems of transferring an application form from paper to web. It turned out they were bureaucrat apes and because of them the ministry missed the deadline to send the students information and hundreds of Greek students missed the opportunity to study abroad. As far as i know they didn't attempt to run the scholarships program this year.
Anyway enough of my badmouthing. Some application info and pictures.
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- Hosted at http://apps.gov.gr/minedu/scholarships (now dead)
- Full Administrative Application Management
- Completion Time: 2 Weeks + 3 Weeks tech support during the apps period
High School students in Greece are admitted to public Universities based on their final exams during their senior year. They are submitting forms with their information and a selection of schools they want to attend. Last year the ministry of education of Greece decided to simplify the applications procedure by making it web only. Two teams of programmers were formed one managed the web platform for students who finished high school in Greece and another for Greek or foreign students who finished high school abroad.
I was part of the second team which consisted of only two people. I was in charged of building the web platforms and Athanasios Rouskas was something like the project manager bringing me all the specifications and dealing with other departments delays and bureaucracy.
Below you can find screenshots from http://mixanografiko-eksoterikou.opengov.gr/ where the application is hosted.
The web platform was used again this year, with no updates. The second application, which had minor changes to meet the state criteria for foreign students, was actually completed by Rouskas who had never seen php code before but he was so damn eager to learn and he learnt. That application was also used this year here http://mixanografiko-alodapon.opengov.gr
I am actually very proud to see that both platforms are online this year again, 3 years and counting (2011-2013).
The application was build with Zend Framework/MySql/Jquery. Below you can also find the sample documents the system creates with Zend_Pdf for the users to verify that everything went fine.