Case Studies

Here's a look at some of our work - testimonials, clients and case studies.

FIRST  (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)

FIRST is a multinational non-profit organization with the mission to transform culture making science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as cool for kids as sports are today.

FIRST contracted with Creative Computing to build and maintain a series of database-driven websites to help manage their team information and registration process, online financial reports, and network of (as of 2014) over 100,000 volunteers and 30,000+ teams comprised of over 300,000 students from around the world.

Creative Computing helped FIRST save numerous man-hours in data entry and significantly reduce the time to process registrations and obtain payments.

Creative Computing worked closely with FIRST to deliver a system that met their initial needs within their timeframe which was structured in such a way that they were able to scale the system to accommodate their growing needs over time.

One key initiative by Creative Computing included building the FIRST Robotics Competition Team Information Management System (FRC TIMS). This web application registers new teams, re-registers existing teams for the new season, and updates critical team information like team name, team contacts and contact info, team partners, and event selection. The system originally used FileMaker but Creative Computing later migrated the system to MySQL.

Really good developers deliver code that not only works, but also saves you money in the future.

In 2005, FIRST needed to upgrade its FileMaker database system to the latest generation. Due to changes in the architecture of FileMaker, this meant that a number of web-based applications, which we ran directly from FileMaker, would no longer work. The decision was made to port the web applications to Lasso, which would be able to run the existing code with minimal conversion effort, yet communicate with the updated FileMaker back-end. Recognizing our lack on in-house expertise with Lasso, I took a multi-day training course taught by Tami Williams of Creative Computing.

Tami is a good communicator and was able to bring myself and others present up to speed on Lasso with a minimum of confusion.

Later that year, recognizing the need to scale up our Lasso development capabilities, we contacted Creative Computing. This time, we hired them on a contract basis to perform a ground up re-write of our most important web-based application, which registers teams for the FIRST Robotics Competition and brings in millions of dollars per year in registration fees. The experience was a delight, as they listened to our needs, integrated requirements from a diverse group of stakeholders, proposed solutions, and developed a clean and easily maintained solution.

The importance of this last fact can't be understated. Anyone can deliver code. Some can make it work. Really good developers deliver code that not only works, but also is well structured so that it saves you money in the future. This is borne out by the fact that we continue to use the same code base as we approach our upcoming 2010 season, and have re-used it as the basis for team registration systems for two of our other programs as well.

Since 2005, we have utilized Creative Computing to supplement our in-house development capabilities as more and more business functions are web-enabled. Additionally, we utilized their services in 2006 to help us migrate our web-applications to a MySQL-based back-end, which provides greater scalability.

For the MySQL conversion, Creative Computing helped us identify an appropriate server architecture, configured MySQL to run on the servers, taught us the basics of MySQL server administration, performed the necessary conversion work on the Lasso code, and did performance testing and remote monitoring on the servers to insure adequate response during peak loads. Again, they did a top-notch job.

Whether your needs are with FileMaker, Lasso, or MySQL, I cannot recommend Creative Computing highly enough. They are smart, efficient, flexible, and a pleasure to work with.

Eric Rasmussen
Engineer
FIRST
August 9, 2009

It is a pleasure for me to comment on the excellent web application development services that FIRST received from Creative Computing.

The quality of a software development consulting company is directly related to the knowledge and capability of its staff. We have found that the developers at Creative Computing are outstanding. The developers with whom we worked understand their profession, technology, the tools of their trade, and the art of working with a client.

Our relationship with Creative Computing is one of the best we have ever had with a contractor. Even when major hurdles popped up, they went the extra mile to support us. Creative Computing has proven to be quite valuable to FIRST.

Creative Computing did an excellent job of working with us to set expectation levels going into the relationship. In addition, they did things that other contractors do not. For example, they allowed us view their work in progress for review and comment. In my opinion, this a major reason why we were able to deliver a system our users found useful.

Ultimately, the final product created by Creative Computing is as organized, structured, consistent, and professional as the company itself. We could not have met our deliverable timeframes without them.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with Creative Computing and highly recommend them as a development partner.

Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative. (Hired Tami as a IT Consultant in 2005, and hired Tami more than once.)

James McKim
IT Group Manager
FIRST
July 13, 2006
(As of 3-11-09 James McKim no longer works for FIRST)