Friday, January 7, 2011

Change is Good. The Pro Ski Coach Network

After an October where there were very few meaningful forum posts, I made a unilateral decision to migrate our community to wetJacket. It seems I may have lost some people in the process, so an explanation is in order.

The software that ran for the last few years was created primarily by myself. It grew out of the forum, and, as software tends to do, it became bloated.

The Online Water Ski League was and is a great idea. But running it through the infrastructure of the Pro Ski Coach Forum proved to be an impossible feat.

Your Ski Log has proved to be the most resilient tool I built for PSC. But when it came time to build in the ski league with the rankings board and skier profile pages, well, just think 3 dimensional spider web. It was just too hard for one programmer to do the work within the confines of the old system. It's my fault.

The back end at wetJacket is significantly more robust than PSC ever was. For me, it's an incredible load lifted from my shoulders. The site just works. I migrated 2800 user accounts and about 12,000 forum posts over to wetJacket and locked out the PSC forum. Moves like this are hard to pull off with success, but, it's the only way our network can grow. The user profiles, messaging system, and forum at wetjacket is everything that I hoped PSC could be, plus it manages Events, Groups, a Marketplace for gear trading, and gives every skier using the site a personal blog to share with others.

With a fresh start, I'm free of working with the more tedious aspects of the old Pro Ski Coach.

So today, Friday January 7, I'm proud to release The new Pro Ski Coach. It will take a day or two for changes to propogate, but by next week, you'll see what I mean.

The new Pro Ski Coach is, for me, a joy to work with. I can develop new features so much more quickly and easily than I could before. It all comes down to execution, and now I have a lot more tools at my disposal.

In addition to the community that's growing at wetJacket, now I've got the time to put the work in where it is really needed. In the ski log. In the ski league. In more instructional articles, and in new features like the Ski Lakes Map. For now, you'll need to reset your password separately at to access yourskilog, but, by February you'll be able to use your wetJacket account to get to

After that, it's back to, which, I know needs a lot of work after last year's slow, silent death. Most of the participants in the ski league stopped posting scores - which certainly didn't help my motivation level. There are a lot of improvements that need to be made. It was hard to predict what would happen in the league during its first year. Now that 2010 is behind us, I have a year's worth of ski league data that I can work with. Organizing the scoring system for last year's ski league was difficult without data to work with up front. I didn't know how it was going to pan out, and that's my fault. I released the league too soon. But now that I'm free of all the worst parts of, and I have a fresh start with a new system running, I know that I can deliver in 2011.

I need your feedback. What do you want to see in 2011 that would make you more satisfied?

Thanks for your support. Call me at 781-346-9754, anytime.

-Wade Williams


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