beginning web programming

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A friend of mine has recently offered me some work web programming. I'm
self-taught (python, c++, php, mysql, html, scheme) and have never
worked professionally; up till now I've been programming for fun.

Problem: I don't know how long it should take me to complete projects.

For example,

My friend has a page that gives him all the details of his purchase
orders - a .php page full of myspl data.

He wants me to create a similar page that will allow him to edit much
of this data dynamically.

Could anybody give me a rough time estimate (and rate estimate?) on
something like this?  



Re: beginning web programming

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I think the rate you complete projects depends on how experienced a  
programmer you are.  One of the things an experienced programmer can do  
is gauge the "level of effort" of a project.  One mistake I did at the  
start of my programming career was failing to break a project down into  
pieces and seeing it as a monolithic thing to complete.  If you chop it  
up into day-long segments or even week-log.  You may not be able to  
gauge accurately how fast you can do the work, but at least you'll have  
an idea of the scope.

To answer your specific question, "how long will it take" depends on how  
much work there is to do.  So do the analysis and design _first_ before  
you start coding.  Then you'll have an idea of how long.

DeeDee, don't press that button!  DeeDee!  NO!  Dee...

Re: beginning web programming

I noticed that Message-ID:
contained the following:

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Rather a lot of variables here.  For instance, where in the world are

If it would slot into bits of code I have already (and it probably
would), I could knock something up in about an hour.  A bespoke version
from scratch, I'd say half a day to a day depending on your speed.

As for rate, I'd say about the same rate as a professional photographer,
whatever that is where you are.

Geoff Berrow (put thecat out to email)
It's only Usenet, no one dies.
My opinions, not the committee's, mine.
Simple RFDs

Re: beginning web programming

Geoff Berrow wrote:
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Heh - even your typing speed is a variable. I've seen some really slow  
typers (typists?) who take almost a day to type out a (relatively short)  
page of code. Ultimately, you have to know your own capabilities and weigh  
that against the requirements of the job. The more coding you do, the better  
you get at estimating something like that.

Tony Garcia
Web Right! Development
Riverside, CA

Re: beginning web programming

Following on from user105's message. . .
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The Standard Method is:
1. Make a guess
2. Double it
3. Move up to the next level of units

Good luck.  Expect to spend a lot of time 'not being paid' as that's  
what happens.  Time spent at the early stages refining and understanding  
the requirement is well spent.

Only prototype 'technology'.  ie highly technical or tricky bits to for  
example make sure that the DB queries are fast enough, or test  

PETER FOX Not the same since the bottom fell out of the bucket business
2 Tees Close, Witham, Essex.
Gravity beer in Essex  <

Re: beginning web programming

On Fri, 08 Jul 2005 16:23:24 -0700, user105 wrote:

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Quoted text here. Click to load it

10 hours tops.

Re: beginning web programming

user105 wrote:

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...and the truth is you won't know until you've done a few.  Since you lack
the experience, you can't really know.

This means you have a very strong incentive to work by the hour and not
accept any fixed-rate projects.  Since your friend may be frightened of
where this will lead, the two of you may compromise on a lower rate.  Which
is fitting, as you are a beginner.  

After you've shown a doubling or tripling in productivity with some practice
you can ask your friend for more money.  If he won't do it, thank him
enthusiastically for giving you a start and let him know he should be
looking for his next bargain, as you will be moving on.  You owe him
nothing as he has the code, and he owes you nothing as he paid you for your

Kenneth Downs
Secure Data Software, Inc.

Re: beginning web programming

You also have to think about error checking - knocking code together to
do basic updates etc. is generally a quick process, but if you need
complex error checking (email address, dates etc.) it always ramps up
the amount of development time.  Also - is it just going to be one page
that calls itself and deals with everything?  If so then its fairly
quick, but if you need to have a multiple stage update process (eg user
details, address details, credit card details) then obviously it will
take slightly longer.

Try planning out on paper what your page will do, what other pages will
be called and for what reason, also, plan out the code a little (define
functions and procedures and what they will do)- this will help cut it
down into manageable chunks and will give you an idea of the bigger
picture.  Its easy to make mistakes if you just jump in feet first.

Even with this though you should have no problems doing it in under 3
days though, whatever your level of experience is.  As long as you can
do update statements in MySQL you should be fine.


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