Life Outside My Cube

My life, a work in progress.

More work, more fun

I had a conference call with a client this noon to clarify some issues with his software product (he was in London on a trip, I was at my workplace; loving Skype and Google Docs). Resolved quickly, I can move past this roadblock to complete implementing a new email template system for him. I’d already developed a prototype to thrash out the idea, but needed to understand better how to integrate it into his system.

His previous developer used a very wide, sparsely-populated non-normalized client table (around 60 columns), to which I needed to add another handful of columns. That is, if I continued in the same design vein. I won’t.

That table’s so integrated into the website code it’s not even funny; correcting the bad design would be a tremendous effort. I’m not going to even attempt it right now. I told the client about this, as I knew he was propositioning a large potential customer that would add tens of thousands of records to this table. TBD, I guess, but I’d sure like to see it changed sooner than later. I think I shook him up a bit when I talked about it with him. He has greater confidence in his prior developer than I do, ’cause I’ve seen the code.

Anyhow, I can easily split out the email template columns into another table, so it won’t be so bad, and that stuff is pretty much used in only two places. Will be kind of a fun addition, and limited in terms of touching the rest of the system, so testing should be fairly easy.

The website application also provides for handheld data-entry using a mobile device. He also mentioned today that he’s going to want more work done on that part of the site, so he’ll be sending me some kind of device, probably iPod touch related. Cool! I’m not really interested in a smart phone or iPod touch thing; I have a cell phone for talking to people, and a computer to store stuff and browse the internet. I don’t need another expensive piece of technology. But if someone gives it to me, I’m not going to turn it down. :-)

Plus, it turns out another of my clients also wants a mobile-optimized view for her website, so that’ll be handy to have. I had thought I’d need to purchase one on my own. I’m really looking forward to working on that optimization project, having never done anything for mobile before. That will really be fun, but probably not on the table for a while; she’s not sure it’s worth it right now, until her site gets more traffic.

The other client’s data entry stuff needs to be done by July 9 – I don’t even know what needs done yet. But if I have time, I can perhaps do the optimization project on my own, and just present it to her when it’s done, just for fun.

Big difference between the two clients – the one I talked with today is hourly, and the other is “free”. The former is a more stressful, the latter is more enjoyable. The former involves managing others’ code/design, and the latter is all mine. The former is a guy from Manhattan, the latter is a woman from New England.

We’ll see how they both pan out. In the meantime, I’ve got work to do!

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