Work Frustrations

Not everything’s fun and games, even at my beloved job at Sybase. That just wouldn’t be realistic. It all started about a week ago…

I was given a web application to write. After some discussion, I was presented with a list of constraints – PHP4 and SQL Anywhere 9.0.2 were the two main things to keep in consideration. Although I hadn’t much prior experience with designing and writing a PHP web app from the ground up, I was confident I could learn quickly, given the multitude of resources available. I started work on the project with my initial set of requirements.

That was the point I fell sick, and missed a couple days of work. Knowing that time was tight, I continued work on the project, and after a couple days had a decent chunk of the implementation completed. Unbeknownst to me, an additional meeting had already been planned with the interested parties while I was away. Upon my return, I attended a meeting at 10 in the morning to discuss the application in more detail. At this point, I was told that PHP was no longer an option. SQL Anywhere’s HTTP server would be used and everything had to be incorporated within a database, meaning all HTML was to be served by web services and stored procedures.

I won’t even detail the fact that in one fell swoop, I no longer had the use of a server-side scripting language. For a web application that was to include registration and account administration components, this would make my life much tougher. Plus, I had no prior experience with writing a web app using only our database’s HTTP server. While I eventually found out that it is possible to do what I was after, I had to learn the whole system before I could start coding the application. After working slowly through the new method of implementation, I ran into two main problems that required a significant amount of ‘hack-ish’ work, which I was not familiar with at all. Given the time frame I was dealing with, I presented my concerns and reiterated my desire to implement the application using PHP.

As of the end of work today, I’ve made quite a bit of progress in convincing the parties of the improved efficiency I’d be able to achieve by using PHP. At least I am familiar with the language so that I can spend the bulk of my time implementing the application and not learning ways to implement server-side scripting with the SQL Anywhere HTTP server.  It isn’t a question of the capability of the SQL Anywhere HTTP server – it definitely has the ability to do what I need it to. It’s just a matter of time, time that I don’t have to learn the intricacies of the system. I just wish this whole flip-flop hadn’t occured in the first place – I would have saved a lot of time and would be far less stressed now. I’m sure this sort of thing happens plenty of times in everyone’s working career though. I’m just glad the people I’m working with are understanding and seem to be open to going back to PHP.

3 thoughts on “Work Frustrations”

  1. Sorry for making you lose half a day Charlie.
    Also SQL Anywhere is funner than Afaria.

    When I get frustrated I buy defunct hardware, like HD DVD players, and feel better that I didn’t invest my time in that…

  2. Haha, don’t worry, Jon. I hardly consider it wasting half a day. It was quite a nice tour really – I’d never taken that tour of the building in such detail.

    In any case, the project’s going much better now that I’m back with PHP. I’ve learned a hell of a lot through the whole process.

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