3 Replies - 175 Views - Last Post: 08 July 2014 - 08:13 AM

#1 noobydoods  Icon User is offline

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Creating a table seating arrangement

Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:36 PM

Hello, I was asked to try and create a table seating arrangement, something like this site but i guess not so advanced as that because I may not be able to do it. Anyway, I haven't even started and I'm already stuck. I'm not sure where/how to start. Could someone who may have had experience creating one for their client go through the motions with me? DOesn't have to be a step by step thing just i guess a list of what i need. then maybe from there i can start.

TIA

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Replies To: Creating a table seating arrangement

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Creating a table seating arrangement

Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:55 PM

Sounds like you may have bitten off more than you can chew right at the moment. However, you might be able to do some of what you need.

You should start by figuring out what it is you want to build. One way to start is to list all of the features that you might possibly want to offer here - don't stop yourself from writing things down just because they're stupid ideas or because you don't know how you'd do them, or anything like that. If it occurs to you, write it down.

Then go through and start rating features on a scale of one to 5, where 5 is "maybe think about this after everything else is done" and 1 is "can't launch without it". 3 would be something like "want it, but can live without it". At this point, you should not be thinking about how hard it is to do it - just about how badly you want it.

What you'd really like to do is to come up with a very small set of features that make up the core of what you're trying to build. That's where you're going to start. Some of these things might be difficult or impossible to build - some things are computationally very difficult, and it's possible you'll wander into one of those - but the important thing is you want to have a small subset of the problem, consisting of a list of finite tasks.


These tasks will probably still be too complex, so then you'll want to take one of them and break it down into smaller subtasks. As you do this, you'll probably discover some housekeeping stuff that should ahve made the list, but hasn't (for example, you might easily forget about "register/sign in", which is probably going to be essential to anything you're doing. You need to implement that somehow. And when you list that, you'll then realize that "handle lost/forgotten passwords" is something you need, and so forth.

Do all this on whiteboards (take photos) or on legal pads, or on sticky notes that you stick on your whiteboard and move around - use real paper and pens. Don't put anything into the computer yet, because you don't want to give yourself even the faintest hint of permanence on any of these decisions. You're looking for flexibility, you want to be able to scrap big chunks of stuff and start over, and computers make that harder.

After a little while, you'll realize that you've got some things that you're ready to start actually writing code for. Before you start writing code, you should make a plan of attack. What pieces do you need to do, and in what order, and how do you know when you're done with a given piece? What does it look like when it's done?

All of this planning will help you avoid writing yourself into a corner - you might still get stuck, but at least you'll have made a lot of your mistakes on paper beforehand, so you won't need to write them in code.
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#3 noobydoods  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating a table seating arrangement

Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:11 PM

Quote

Sounds like you may have bitten off more than you can chew right at the moment.


yea more like i got a huge chocolate indulgence cake forcefully stuffed into my mouth.

thanks for the reply. I probably should have done that from the beginning of this project, hit so many brick walls. actually, its not THE site that i was referring to, was referring to the table arrangement the site has(add guests to table and such). Cause i've already started on their event management website(in other words its sort of like a scheduling site for wtv functions a person may have plus some other stuff) and they want to add a table seating arrangement for those events. like those graphical kind. I keep telling them its out of my skill scope right now, im just a diploma intern.

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... list all of the features that you might possibly want

im actually scared to write down what features this table seating arrangement will have coz i don't want to be over achieving something that i probably wont be able to do.
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#4 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: Creating a table seating arrangement

Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:13 AM

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im actually scared to write down what features this table seating arrangement will have coz i don't want to be over achieving something that i probably wont be able to do.

You can't be effective without a plan. When someone starts building a house, do they just start laying down concrete and nailing boards wherever they think it's right, or do they follow a blueprint? Software isn't any different, it's just less permanent. If you start writing an application without designing it first you'll eventually find yourself at a point where you're going to need to scrap everything you have and redo everything the right way from the start. Skip that step and start the right way first. That means you need a plan, you need to be able to look at your plan and see the entire application. Then you break down each feature into small pieces that are easy to do. Any programming problem can be broken down into individual small pieces that are all easy to do. It might look complicated when you put everything together and have it all work together, but at the base it is a bunch of tiny solutions for tiny problems. When you can break it down that much then each individual thing is easy to do. It might take a while, but it's not overly difficult.

Remember, you can either take the time to do it right, or make the time to do it over. I suggest the former.

Let me add one more thing; it's commonly joked about, but there is some truth to this as well:

A software project can:
- work well
- be completed quickly
- be inexpensive

The client is allowed to pick any 2, you can't have all 3 (unless you're a very qualified professional doing charity work). If they want their software to work well then their other options are to either have it completed quickly at great expense (hire several professionals), or have it be inexpensive but take a while to finish (what you are trying to do). Do not let them force you down the path of quick and cheap, because it's not going to work well. Ultimately your name and reputation are attached to this software, so make sure you do it right. Don't be intimidated by the size of it, just break it down into small chunks.

How does one eat an elephant? A bite at a time.

This post has been edited by ArtificialSoldier: 08 July 2014 - 08:19 AM

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