Elliot Woolner, an old friend of mine, approached me in late 2009 about building a facebook application for CollegePro Painters. The application is intended to be a resource for new or prospective University students to help find summer employment to help pay for the rising costs of tuition. While the motivation behind the application might be a slight recruitment drive for CollegePro Franchisees and employees, it’s been built to be a dynamic resource that students can add and contribute to in a very real way. So was born Wuukie.
We added a few features to give users an idea of what the cost of a post-secondary education is going to be. The first tool was the ‘Job Calculator’, renamed from the ‘Debt Calculator’ from the initial betas. Here, we encourage the student to put in some rough numbers for tuition costs, rent, food and some other miscellaneous cost to get an idea of what it’s going to cost them to live and educate themselves for the duration of their career. In the results section, instead of just giving them a cold and very large number, we chose to offer a selection of possible ‘summer jobs’ and break it down by tasks, so that, in a humorous way, we illustrate that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get it done.
The second feature is the ‘What are you cut out for?’ Quiz. While basically a ‘fun’ personality quiz, it was cobbled together from some psychology style quizzes found online, and geared towards leading prospects in a possible job direction that matches up with the categories for the job listings.
The bulk of the app is devoted to the community generated job listings, which is growing steadily. As new jobs are added, people can add relevant links, comment on them and share their experiences and offer tips and helpful advice to other job seekers out there. The system is robust, and is easily searchable, as well as having a categorical drill down that allows people to really look for the kind of work they want for a summer job.
Elliot did the complete back end and led the project, while I consulted on GUI, features and pushed for the community involvement.