How we started monPlan

Eric Jiang <eric@ericjiang.dev>

Mon 9th Oct 2017

As we are coming to our first birthday, we want to really look back on how we grew monPlan to what it is today.

At the start we used many ways of looking at course planning, such as using Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, even paper. But we always ran into 1 singular problem, every time we had to look through several tabs of the Monash Handbook, (we will back to this later). We also had to spent a few hours just to talk a course advisor, while the course advisors spread out multiple plans across the table talking to us about our course. This was not really helpful.

google sheets monplan

All the unit rules were spread all all over the place, different places gave different information. We decided to start off with a simple post to see if this was a pain point for other students with a post on Monash Stalkerspace.

facebook stalkerspace post

This was fairly supported by the student community. So we decided to proceed ahead. Using various purpose-built tools such as a Unit Handbook Scraper (https://github.com/monplan/monScrape/tree/master/UnitScraper) we built a ‘basic’ version of the application which now currently lives at https://monplan.github.io/monPlan-Legacy

And then suddenly, we were approached by a eSolutions Director, Teresa Finlayson who asked us if we were willing to continue development alongside eSolutions. We (we being Josh Nelsson-Smith and Eric Jiang) agreed as we both believed that it would really help improve the student community. This was officially started in December 2016.

And the rest is history, we continued development with a newer technology and our application has being growing everyday.

Looking back we really encourage everyone to continue developing whatever it is you are interested in. The team has really helped shape the student innovation pathway for other students.

We have worked with various senior managers at eSolutions, to help develop and shape the following:

  • Test.Drive — Monash University’s student incubation program
  • Some cool projects which will be released soon, sponsored by some faculties and departments across the university.

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