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I have been asked to build a website for my work. I have about 60 days to
get it online. Nothing special for starters but eventually want to get a
degree as a web master. The software being used for an interactive inventory
is (Mass90)  The site will need a checkout and the ability to take credit
cards. School is not an option at this time but will be in the future.
Couple of questions. (1)  Would you advise a complete rookie with excellent
computer skills but no training, to learn frontpage or dreamweaver for
getting started?  (2) Are there any prerequisites classes will I be needing
when I do decide to start classes? (3) How long will it take to get a degree
in this field?  I am self taught computer savvy and can figure out most any
software with enough time but just wanted to ask someone who knows about
these things to learn right the first time. Any advise will be taken
seriously and very greatly appreciated.

Re: rookie

G-man wrote:
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I know this is not what you want to hear, but your company is planning
for failure if they are simultaneously:

    1) choosing someone without any programming/web development experience.
    2) giving that person a deadline.
    3) did I mention that deadline was a mere 60 days? build an interactive e-commerce site. It sounds like the
powers-that-be do not recognize the effort, skill and experience
required to execute such a project -- and this is bad for you, because
it's falling on your shoulders, and you're the one who will get blamed.

Here's a realistic plan you could suggest to those powers-that-be:

    1) you spend the next 60 days working with them to design a
non-functional prototype, with whatever software you feel comfortable
with, which you might be learning simultaneously.
    2) take that prototype to a professional, who can then do the work
necessary to make it functional.

You'll save a fortune by being one of those rare few clients who knows
what they want, having done all of the planning in advance. And, you
won't be the fall guy for an unwise endeavor!

David J. Hennessy /

Re: rookie

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Find a new job.

I know that sounds like a smartass answer, but it is the best advice I
can give.  Any company managed by someone so stupid as to ask you to
create a webstore is probably not a great place to work.

In my dayjob, I consult for government and private clients. *Every single
time* I've had a client who chose to appoint a completely untrained
individual already on staff as the "web master" the result was
disasterous.  Since this is for a webstore, it is obvious that the
management at your company is underqualified to make important business

Run away.

Now, if this was a hobbie site you were asking about, my answer would be:
1. Get your butt over to post haste.
2. Learn HTML and CSS *before* expecting some piece of software to do it
for you. There are HTML and CSS resources listed at the link above.

Karl Groves

Re: rookie

G-man wrote:
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advise? np.
delegate it to someone else.
hire the thing out.

you got no fukkin chance of gettin it done in that time frame
an experienced wm walkin in off the street to your workplace would have
to push to get a decent pos out the door in that time given the basics
you've given us here

i utilize the same doing online work for museums.
60 days and you want to know if fpage or dweaver is the way to go?

ok, come on. is this howard stern having a go at us?


Re: rookie

G-man wrote:
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I would out source the project if I were you, unless you are really
good at programming server side scripts.
Oh and you'll need a good knowledge of DataBase intergration and maybe
even knowing how to design a database would help.
I would say that you   would not  get a degree in a short time (three
years at a minimum.
You need to know more then just how to use a bit of software to design
any kind of E-commerce solution.
Regards Chad.

Re: rookie

G-man wrote:
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Wow... things aren't good for you. 60 days would be tough for a pro to
get a fully functional ecommerce site up and running and ready to take
orders. You need to go to your managers and tell them the alternative
ways to get this done (mentioned by others already), because this one
is going to end badly, and it'll be on you. Don't forget, even if you
manage to somehow get this site ready, you'll likely be blamed if the
site doesn't get any traffic.

You can learn HTML in 60 days, but you cannot learn to program an
ecommerce site in the same.

My only other suggestion is to use a pre-built ecommerce site like
osCommerce, ZenCart, or something like that and modify it. Again,
you'll need to know a web programming language to modify and interface
with your inventory system. This will also likely take you over 60 days
starting from where you are.

In answer to your questions...

1. You need to decide if you want to be a web designer or a web
programmer. A web designer designs the layout and look of a website,
while a web programmer builds the back end software that actually does
any sort of work. Dreamweaver and Frontpage will not help you learn how
to be either. Start with basic HTML and CSS in a text editor to
understand what is going on for either. You'll know what tools to use
as you go along once you get some experience.

2. If you want to be a web designer, not really. They'll teach you HTML
& CSS, or should. If you don't learn hand-coded HTML and CSS before
working with any tools like Dreamweaver or Frontpage, drop the class
and ask for your money back. Using those tools first is like learning
how to paint walls in a class on home construction.

3. Depends on where you go, what degrees you have, and what degrees you
want. Generally, if you're trying to switch careers, 2 years of part
time classes at least. Any program with less than that may give you a
certificate, but you aren't going to know what you need to know for a
job, and probably not enough to pass an interview. Your local
technology college can get you started there.

Really, this isn't an elbow grease type of problem. Working harder
isn't going to cut it. The logistics of getting an ecommerce site up
and running in 60 days is very difficult for a pro. My last ecommerce
project took about 6 months full time to open the site, and that
started with about 1/3 of the code already written. Get out of the
project while you can.

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