Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Getting back into the game

  1. #1
    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germiston
    Posts
    196
    Thanks
    120
    Thanked 41 Times in 31 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Getting back into the game

    Hi Folks

    I've been absent from TFSA for quite a while - I got out of my former partnership towards the end of 2012 (although only in practice - despite my efforts, CIPC still says I'm a partner) and devoted lots of my time and effort to climbing up the corporate ladder.

    Now, I'd like to start doing some work for myself again. Programming in the corporate world is oftentimes interesting, but a lot of the time, it is also limited in scope - the domain really isn't that broad. As such, I want to start doing a bit of freelance work again, and capitalize on the opportunity to play with technologies and/or domains outside of the scope of my normal work. I realize that I can try and find work on freelancing websites and the like, but one has to try and outbid developers from countries where development is a lot cheaper than it is in SA. Instead, I thought that I would try and help the forum, and maybe start making a name for myself in the process - there will always be opportunities to be found locally.

    Here's what I propose - let's identify a need shared between forum members (but keep it to something simple that I can implement in my spare-time in a couple of weeks). You come up with ideas, we decide what we want, and I go off and try to write a program to do it. If all is well, and I come up with something worthwhile, I can make it available to forum members - free of charge, and no one who contributes to the idea gets to sell it - you can use it, and you can give it to other people to use. Once we have a couple of ideas, perhaps we can set up a poll to choose the most popular one.

    So, what do you say?

    Cheers,
    Riaan
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

  2. Thank given for this post:

    newBix (26-Feb-14), Vanash Naick (24-Feb-14)

  3. #2
    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    lenasia
    Posts
    3,281
    Thanks
    849
    Thanked 693 Times in 607 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Riaan, I think that you going to do just fine!
    “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” Karl Marx
    vanash.naick@gmail.com
    TFSA Disclaimer
    Local Music with a grassroots touch


  4. #3
    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    2,242
    Thanks
    207
    Thanked 310 Times in 268 Posts
    Welcome back Riaan.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

  5. #4
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,296
    Thanks
    73
    Thanked 283 Times in 216 Posts

    Smile

    Nice to see you here again Riaan.
    Nice idea to develop your skills and get going.

    What language, medium, format, db, front-end, back-end do you work with and what format do you envisage for your development?
    Are we talking about a website, a phone app, an add on to the forum site?

    An app that is needed here at the moment is an online forum boxing ring.

    Or a BS monitor
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
    Sponsored By: http://www.honeycombhouse.com

  6. #5
    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    GEORGE
    Posts
    610
    Thanks
    234
    Thanked 72 Times in 65 Posts
    Or install Tapatalk API on the forum...

    BOVER Technologies
    - computer sales and TeamViewer support
    Elmine Botha Freelance Photographer - Photographer/ Videographer

  7. #6
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,089
    Thanks
    336
    Thanked 808 Times in 642 Posts
    Riaan, tell me more about the platforms that you are comfortable with, do you code for Android, stand alone PC, web based browser driven etc.

    I can think of a whole horde of applications needed on each of those platforms and even applications across all those platforms.

    The biggest issue that I think you will face is that you may be forced to write apps that are tailor made for a particular environment. One should modularize functionality and not only that, also data drive those modules and their interaction with one another.

    I can explain to you exactly what I mean if you are interested.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

  8. #7
    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germiston
    Posts
    196
    Thanks
    120
    Thanked 41 Times in 31 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Unfortunately, I can't do anything that plugs straight into the forum - what I envisage is a stand-alone application of some sort that an end user can install on their PC and do something useful with. It can be web-based on desktop-based - depending on what its purpose will be. Personally, I'd like to play with web development, since most of my background is in Java Swing (desktop API) and back-end logic.

    Preferably, the application should not depend on a database, since that might be too much for the average user to configure (unless it's something for which a simple embedded database will suffice). I've been looking for an excuse to play with Android development, so that's an option as well. Part of what I'm trying to do is to break away from the stuff that I do everyday and play with some new toys (read 'technology').

    Adrian, I'm all ears - please tell me what you have in mind. Just remember that I'm not trying to do something commercial - at least not for this exercise.
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

  9. #8
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,089
    Thanks
    336
    Thanked 808 Times in 642 Posts
    I think that small businesses have fairly similar issues that need attention. One of my biggest problems is quoting. The problem can be resolved fairly simply by using a data driven quoting engine.

    Ok, so look at the needs:
    Enter customer details
    Enter each line item
    Discounts and totals

    Lets look at the data driving side:

    Customer details.
    The user would set up a data capture plan i.e. name, addr1, addr,pcode,cel no, work no. Those are the fields that the system would ask to be entered.
    The drive module would record the field length, field type and other important field characteristics like masks etc.

    Line item.
    One would allow for the creation and linking of various calculators. Lets look at the calculators.
    Calculator 1. Labour - hourly rate and hours worked...return total
    Calculator 2. Material cost - material type, material thickness, sq cm cost, len, wid, number of units ...return total
    But calculator 2 could have a link to a lookup table of formula where once the first field is known the rest will drop down and filter.
    Calculator 3. This may be a formula based calculator where one would enter fields say: cost = Cost factor x cut len (mm) / cut speed (mm/sec) X cut rate (R/hr)
    One would set the fields up so that the lookups tie back to customer or material fields.

    Once the schema has been drawn up then one would have to populate the calculator data, be it in look up tables or formulas.

    When a new quote is required I would select say, laser cutting quote template:
    The system asks me for the customer data fields that I set up in the data driver module,
    It then waits for the line entry: I select a type say; material cost: It asks me to enter the field item material which I do and then it brings back what it finds and I complete the line.
    Now I select type Cut cost: It knows the material characteristics, such as cut speed for material thickness so all it needs to ask me is the cut length. I aswer this question and I continue.

    Ok, it all seems very complicated but it is not. The idea is to allow my to set up my quotation template and its various line calculators as I choose. An electrician may have a line item that is calculated by multiplying 3 items, adding 2 and dividing by another. There is no way of knowing how people choose to set their calculators up but the template allows you to do it quickly and easily as you see fit.

    Ok, now to the modular bit, if you design the module so that it is able to work within the framework of a larger system then you could just as easily add the customer maintenance module which has the same field characteristics as in the quoting module. The calculator used within the quoting module could be used to do production planning because those calculators may be extended to carry more elaborate product characteristics.

    The point that I am trying to make is that the application is not a ridged framework that limits the user to work within very narrowly defined boundaries, it is rather a template driven environment where the user is able to set up his own framework. When I just started programming there was a language / environment called Clarion that came very close to this.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

  10. Thanks given for this post:

    rfnel (26-Feb-14)

  11. #9
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    23
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    I had the idea once for a prepaid website.

    The idea was to build a platform that people can populate with their domain name, images links and information and then "publish it on the net" then the database would generate a code that the customer can use to SMS back to you allowing you to take money from his phone to pay for his website.

    He can then pay for X months and Y months and if the customer stops payment the website gets deleted....

    I don't know it is worth anything?

    But a starting business is always looking for ways to get exposure right? What better way to do it then a low-cost easy to pay for website?

  12. Thanks given for this post:

    rfnel (26-Feb-14)

  13. #10
    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germiston
    Posts
    196
    Thanks
    120
    Thanked 41 Times in 31 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Adrian, thanks for the idea - I'll try to sit down and process it over the weekend. It sounds interesting, but there are trade-offs: if it allows for too much customization and it basically ends up being a 4GL programming language, it might be very intimidating to the average user. Of course, if you allow the user to import and export templates, tech savvy users could define templates and share them with the rest of the community. For what it's worth, one of the first thoughts that went through my head as I was reading it was "spreadsheet".

    newBix, that's an interesting twist on website hosting, but the idea requires hosting services and infrastructure that goes beyond what I'm trying to do here. Nonetheless, perhaps you should look into it further - small businesses might buy into the idea.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Game special
    By murdock in forum Consumer Protection Act Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 14-Mar-13, 05:20 PM
  2. Lame or game on
    By Dave A in forum General Chat Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 28-Jul-11, 09:11 PM
  3. Developing a new game
    By Jacob Zuma in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 21-Jul-10, 08:10 AM
  4. The Name of the Game
    By Debbiedle in forum South African Politics Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Sep-08, 08:34 AM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •