SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Websites are not allowed??? - unfair!!!

    I am 17, doing an ICT course and for the coursework you are required to design and implement a system which serves as a solution to a fictional or real firm / organisation ....

    This course used to enable students to do pretty much anything...

    But now (i foudn out today) you have to do an Access Database... and it has to be in Access!!!
    The database can be on anything but must involve queries, tables, macros, etc.....

    This means I am not allowed to do a website for the coursework (no explanation offered)... - the point is that what i was actually planned on doing was much more than a boring static website.....it was in fact a "MySQL Database-driven PHP Content management system!" - which would have been hard but I would have learnt so much applicable stuff!

    My question is to all of those in favour of today's educational systems (As much as they may vary)... Why am I being disabled the oppurtunity to further my knowledge of a real technology which is used everyday in large corps... as opposed to Microsoft Access!? ... which is not!

    Sorry about this... i am just really annoyed!

    Any comments or further rants are welcomed
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At a guess it may be something as stupid as the ITU department wont allow those technologies on the network!
    http://www.glasys.co.uk
    Noli Illegitimi Carborundum

  3. #3
    ャ.ャ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    9,013
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would ignore there requirements and do better then what they wanted.
    I would go with creating the CMS and making a complete dynamic site.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru MikeBigg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Reading, UK
    Posts
    970
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    Why am I being disabled the oppurtunity to further my knowledge of a real technology which is used everyday in large corps... as opposed to Microsoft Access!? ... which is not!
    But Access is used, everyday, and in large organisations and new projects are being done with it.

    It is odd that web applications aren't being encouraged, though.

    Mike

  5. #5
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,840
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    I would ignore there requirements and do better then what they wanted.
    That's a quick way to fail a class project or get fired from a job.

    Hello mr client, I know you asked for this but I decided to do something completely different instead because I wanted to.

  6. #6
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Its not the same as a client - designer relationship...

    The fact is that they are preventing me from doing something of an educational gain, p[robably for the simple reason that the people that mark the coursework have not got sufficient knowledge to mark a MySQl / PHP CMS project...!!!
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    344
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maybe they are trying to teach you three things:

    a. how to adhere to specifications

    b. how to work with unfamiliar technology

    c. you are not the boss

    It also prevents someone from just finding an obscure php/mysql app and submitting it as coursework.

    There are *tons* of websites which use a access db backend.

    It might not be the most performant database out there, but it is complete and capable. It has a place in the corporate world for exactly those reasons.

    You might even find out that you enjoy the convenience of having a complete administration facility built into the product.

    Last I saw, mysql is severely lacking in that area.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,686
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The fact is that they are preventing me from doing something of an educational gain, p[robably for the simple reason that the people that mark the coursework have not got sufficient knowledge to mark a MySQl / PHP CMS project...!!!
    Maybe they don't know it, maybe they do. In either case you have a project guideline which has limitations... you can certainly talk to the course instructor about changing those rules or ask for an explanation but you may very well find out that you get no choice. The purpose of IT education is not to learn only what you want to learn or what is applicable to what you think you will be doing, but rather to explore all sorts of types of technology. If all you want is to learn php & mysql, drop out of your current school, ignore getting a broader education and go enroll in a php & mysql course.

    Make no mistake; thousands upon thousands of companies use Microsoft Access. Mostly it's for smaller projects but sometimes you'll find it doing enterprise work as well. Access is still very much alive and used in the business world. Knowing it and its SQL oddities is anything but a waste of time. Building a web interface is not always the best solution nor is it often an accepted solution and as a developer you will rarely have your choice of languages or approaches to a particular project. What’s so bad about learning another system for your resume?
    - Ted S

  9. #9
    ャ.ャ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    9,013
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    That's a quick way to fail a class project or get fired from a job.

    Hello mr client, I know you asked for this but I decided to do something completely different instead because I wanted to.
    If your client is telling you want to need and how to do it, then why did they hire you?

    The client tells you want they want and you tell them what they need. Not the other way.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  10. #10
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the comments and opinions... I have read through them and have a couple of things to say...

    I think the reason I am so annoyed is because I know Access, we did it at GCSE level and I know how to create queries, Macros, tables, forms and reports etc... And the fact is that if I was to take an Access project up for this piece of coursework then all i would be doing is that exact same thing. I am not fanatic about PHP or MysQL or anything like that but the fact is that I should have the oppurtunity to create on a number of different platforms.

    Regardless of how much Microsoft Access is used, why should the solution I have to create be limited to Access!?

    I know that ICT is about the broad solution offering idea and a more generic knowledge of the technologies available, but I honestly do not understand why teh examining board has limited my oppurtunity as a student to such a tight scope!?!?!

    I am literally at a loss for words.... i honestly cannot show you the extent to which i am in disbelief of this - it makes no sense - the school is being payed to educate me... ~ I am NOT being obnoxious but why should my potential scope of knowledge be limited by the limitations of regulatory organisations!!!
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  11. #11
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It also prevents someone from just finding an obscure php/mysql app and submitting it as coursework.
    There is the possibility that people could do the same thing with Microsoft Access.. there will always be that problem anyway...
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    344
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The client tells you want they want and you tell them what they need. Not the other way.
    First, the situation is more akin to an employee/employer relationship.

    Second, he who has the money is king.

    The job of a consultant/contractor is to *advise* the client and then to carry out the wishes of the client irrespective of whether the client chooses to accept the advice. And, before I get hopped on for this statement, said consultant/contractor is always free to resign the engagement.

    <snip>

  13. #13
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How did you do in English?
    Alright, that's a fair point. I didn't know I was being watched so closely! I save my impeccable syntax and grammar for English essays normally, but since you have made a point I will be sure to keep a closer eye on my posts.
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Hermosa Costa Rica
    Posts
    1,707
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    dont count it out just yet

    Access is being used to help tally the votes for US elections. Of course, I would never endorse such a brazenly stupid idea.. it still doesn't change the fact that they were using unsecured access databases to count votes.

    I found this older article on salon.com: An open invitation to election fraud

    Im sure there is a few newer ones floating around .. you get the point. "they" still use it out there in the commercial world.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot milenko1054's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In my college experience, projects were assigned requiring the languages/applications that the professor knew best not the most appropriate for the task or those with the most educational value. As others have mentioned, that's the rule rather than the exception when it comes to projects you'll encounter in the working world...


  16. #16
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    London, On.
    Posts
    1,127
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Almost all of my university assignments are Java-centric and, even though I'm a full-time .NET developer, I have no choice but to do them.

    The reality of the real world is that you will be presented with a technology set and asked to make it work. Replacing it with your personal favorite stack is always fun, but rarely efficient and/or desirable.

  17. #17
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the comments again.

    I know that you are all right, but it is still annoying. I am going to fidn out for sure if that is the case (That i must use Microsoft Access) and if it is then I obviously have no choice, and I'll do it.

    I suppose you are all right about the fact that, in simple terms, I must do what I am told... After all, education is a tick-box exercise.
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  18. #18
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Manchester UK
    Posts
    13,807
    Mentioned
    158 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)
    It is annoying JP and I can sympathise greatly. I have a young friend who is doing a similar course as you up here in Manchester and some of the questions for the coursework are more like things I would expect for GCSE level IT rather than A level ICT.

    Things like "What are the pro's and con's of file sharing?"

    If thats A level then I am a freaking genius!

    Stick with it though, do the work exactly as they ask you using the resources that they have required you to use, and pass the course.
    They are there to teach you - you are there to pass

    Then you can do what the hell you like!
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  19. #19
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post
    They are there to teach you - you are there to pass

    Then you can do what the hell you like!

    So true! Thanks for the advice! I cannot wait until this is all finished... then I am free...'ish to do what I like!
    James Padolsey
    末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末
    Awesome JavaScript Zoomer (demo here)
    'Ajaxy' - Ajax integration solution (demo here)

  20. #20
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,840
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    If your client is telling you want to need and how to do it, then why did they hire you?
    Having billed hundreds of thousands of dollars personally to clients (in IT but not as a web dev), let me say that quite often clients tell you what they want and what they need and sometimes they actually make sense together. Often because of legacy systems, political reasons or other items.

    As far as access goes, I just finished a 2 year MS Access project with an MS Access developer charging over 80k a year. Which is pretty good money for a junk system like access lol, we eventually created a parallel system using IBM websphere, JAVA and Oracle. Of course the Access system was costing them almost nothing in terms of yearly expenditures and the new system is costing them a ton of money for support and upgrades so at times you wonder what was best for them.

    The client tells you want they want and you tell them what they need. Not the other way.
    In the perfect world, sure, but we don't live in a perfect world and the OP doesn't get to turn down this client.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,686
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The client tells you want they want and you tell them what they need. Not the other way.
    I'm sure that philosophy goes over really well. I can just see the conversation now...

    Client: We need this developed in access to work with our existing technology infrastructure.

    Wise Developer: A web based tool using php & mysql is better. You need to use that. No choice.

    Client: Thanks but I think we'll avoid having to redo 25 million in infrastructure today and having to hire a new IT staff that knows that language and just pick a programmer who actually gets what our requirements are.

    It's unfortunate that we don't always get to do what we want in our work but that's reality. Education doesn't tend to be any different in this regard.
    - Ted S

  22. #22
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    West Springfield, Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,290
    Mentioned
    198 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)

    course work

    If the class just recently started, unless it's required, you could drop it and choose another more to your liking. If you already know Access and want to learn other technologies under the guidance of a professor, you could ask to do it for extra credit. Or maybe there is some type of honors program that allows more freedom of choice for a project? If you wanted to, you could point out that the course syllabus doesn't specify Access, and maybe be able to persuade him to let you work on what you want instead.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast guioconnor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    96
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    If your client is telling you want to need and how to do it, then why did they hire you?

    The client tells you want they want and you tell them what they need. Not the other way.
    I do endorse that as technology professionals we are not only to code, but to understand the problem and provide an adequate solution but, three things
    • Sometimes clients are just stupid and stubborn and think they know what they need, they only don't know how to implement it (I already had plenty of those)
    • Sometimes the problem you have to solve is complex enough that you can't get the solution by working alone. Sometimes the client business structure is such that they have to help you find the solution.
    • Sometimes clients already have an IT infrastructure that must be used for some technical/financial reason.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    Regardless of how much Microsoft Access is used, why should the solution I have to create be limited to Access!?
    Well, a course have its practical needs as well, just like real life work. A professor may not know enough all technologies available to be able to analyze your solution.

    Or even if he does, this can really branch to unexpected trouble. It is good for a professor to keep a course under control, even at the cost of some restrictions.

    I was a college professor on compiler design some years ago and I wanted to encourage students to chose their tools and I let them chose the language they wanted to build the front-end of a pseudo-language compiler.

    The experience was more or less positive but I had an enormous amount of work to specify what elements could be used from those that couldn't, in several languages.

    For instance, I wouldn't like a student to use a library in which all that has to be done is instantiate a class an put it to run in a thread... it was compiler design, not Java basics.

    But then, why bother? Is just a college work, if you are able to do it better for your own pleasure, do it on your free time. One of the nice things of software is that you only need the computer and your own time, no extra costs
    Guilherme Zhlke O'Connor
    www.z-oc.com

  24. #24
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Romania
    Posts
    899
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well .. I would do as they told me and in my spare time develop a site on php/mysql if you are so passionate about this. why not get a niche you like and just start playing with it? Install a local server (or get a free host or a cheap paid one) and let the dream come true. I started with this (start doing) idea 5 years ago and I cannot stop

  25. #25
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Manchester UK
    Posts
    13,807
    Mentioned
    158 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)
    You could of course do both;
    Build the app as they want it and build it as you would do it. That way you could give the pros and cons of each idea as well as a comparison between the 2.

    You might also get extra accreditation or perhaps just a slapping for being a smart alec
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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