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  1. #1
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    Looking for advice on an E-commerce project

    Hi,

    I was hoping to get some advice on a situation I have found myself stuck in regarding a website I was tasked to develop.

    My main question is:
    Is the time I was given to do a project like this acceptable or do I have a leg to stand on when asking for DEDICATED time in-office to complete tasks like this?

    I have been given 6weeks to create a fully customized on-line shopping website from scratch by myself.

    Of the 6weeks so far I have only been allowed around 63 working hours scattered over the 6weeks to work on the project. The others hours were spent traveling to-and-from SLA clients, suppliers, drilling holes, picking this up, dropping that off, etc... (I am studying computer engineering 3rd year so out of office hours are purely for studies).

    In the 63hours I have managed to:
    -Research and get my head around E-commerce: designs, security, functionality planning, etc.
    -learn a massive amount of CSS from not having a clue about it
    (I've only ever dealt with administrative back-ends that had no requirement for anything other than basic CSS)
    -Get to grips of utilizing PHP with mySQL, safely and securely
    (I used PERL mostly in the past, I know mySQL well, but I had many things to learn about PHP)
    -Churn out around 5500 lines of modular PHP code that must act as a 'frame-work' for other sites for the client.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by arkonza; 01-17-2011 at 04:49 AM.

  • #2
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    I am confused as to what your situation is exactly. Someone hired you for a job and now isn't letting you work on it?

    The others hours were spent traveling to-and-from SLA clients, suppliers, drilling holes, picking this up, dropping that off, etc...
    Say what?
    OracleGuy

  • #3
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    Strange situation, to say the least. However, you resolve your issue as described, why not play to your strengths and use perl with MySQL? should save you a bit of a learning curve.

    hth

    bazz
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

    Why do some people say "I don't know for sure"? If they don't know for sure then, they don't know!
    Useful MySQL resource
    Useful MySQL link

  • #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy View Post
    I am confused as to what your situation is exactly. Someone hired you for a job and now isn't letting you work on it?

    Say what?
    Sorry, I posted it when I was really tired... I was hired as a Linux support / Admin guy. Unfortunately they have no concept or experience with developing software so they seem to think I have been given ample time to finish the job. I just wanted another opinion on the time-frame I was given before I go in all-guns-blazing telling them I need more time for projects like that.

    ...about the drilling holes?? yeah I was like that too at first, I get stuck with cable installations, mounting antenna, and all sorts stuff like that. One of the reasons I don't have time to code.

  • #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazz View Post
    Strange situation, to say the least. However, you resolve your issue as described, why not play to your strengths and use perl with MySQL? should save you a bit of a learning curve.

    hth

    bazz
    Well it was good to learn more about PHP, I wanted to use perl but I had some weird and very specific requirements that prevented me from doing as such.

    I think the client wants to use their own guys to recycle the framework I've done so they don't have to pay external people to develop for them... the requirements I was given most likely stem from that.

  • #6
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    As with a lot of things, it depends.

    IF the company wanted you to build this from scratch (without using a framework and with no code library to draw from) 63 hours, IMO, is way to low. Especially is you have a lot of features to add (cart + upsells + coupons + product attributes, image resizing, auth.net / paypal integration, etc etc).

    However, if you were given a base to start from (osCommerce, digishop, cubecart, etc), which already have most of that functionality, then yes, 63 hours should be a fair amount of time to complete it.

    Bottom line, it depends on the scope and the requirements you were given and the resources at your disposal. Given what you told us, I think it's fair to say 63 hours was not enough.

    That said, a word of advice: Going in "guns-a-blazing" almost never turns out good. Make sure you go in with facts, and explanations. If they REALLY think 63 hours was enough time, have them explain why. Do they have previous experience with this? (sounds like they don't - which means they're just shooting in the dark with the 63 hours).

  • #7
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    Thanks for all your advice so far, and sorry to bring this thread up from so long ago but I'd rather not start a new thread for the same topic...

    My work has come a long way and I really need help understanding what a web-developer should be entitled to with regards to time to dedicate to projects. My deadlines are always very tight, and I think what I'm looking for is if I can justifiably ask to be made a full-time developer.

    My question is: Given the following information is it feasible to have me spending only 10-15hours a week on development? While the rest of my working day being delivery-boy / Field technician / Telephonic tech-support (try to code while trying to explain to someone how to clear their print-spool and then baby-step them through editing registry keys)

    My situation is as follows:

    Main Project 1 of 2:
    I have now created my own e-commerce framework capable of the following:
    -Can easily be configured for different companies selling any products with whatever attributes they desire

    -User features include
    --Multiple addresses and address types (ie delivery addresses, billing addresses, addresses to be automatically added to items that get branded eg business cards for stationery shops)
    --Address are pulled by type and given as options where appropriate
    --Order and basket history, recoverable incomplete basket history
    --help ticket tracking
    --Coupon system

    -Item features include
    --Custom category system with basic inheritance
    --Item search (pulls categories that can then be searched)
    --Promotions feature when excess stock exists etc

    -Security features include
    --Multiple checks in place to ensure session is valid
    --Randomly generated keys throughout session to aid in the above
    --Implementations against XSRF and XSS (new to this, still running vulnerability scanners against my test-box)
    --SQL injection detection and reporting (basic, addon module adds more advanced detection)
    --Html tag detection and reporting (again with the addon module)
    --Event logging configurable to how busy the site is and the capacity of the hosting (from login successes to search failures to password recovery attempts)

    I am expected to write among other addons a statistics collation and reporting engine to track just about anything that could help with market research (items bought as a pair, popular items, highest spending customers for rewards program, most searched for items, etc, etc... ) The generated reports are to customizable.

    Main Project 2 of 2:
    Due to multiple NDA's I cannot disclose the nature of the project but the magnitude of it makes the above project look like a 'hello, world!' script.

    Sub-Projects:
    Any development that needs doing, support for current projects when required as we maintain the websites that we do, basic websites (contact forms etc), emailing list scripts, bash scripting for backups, firewalls, etc...

    Thanks,


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