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Hi everybody,

I'm a 22 yrs old girl. I've been developing a Database for 6 months no
using Access. A week ago I had this feeling that I'm wasting my time
in Access. I don't think it's wise to keep on working with Access.
Instead I think I should consider learning and being a certified Oracle
proffessional or something. What do you guys think?

Thanks for your help.
Miriam

May 11 '06 #1
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23 Replies


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"Louly" <mi*****@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@q12g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
Hi everybody,

I'm a 22 yrs old girl. I've been developing a Database for 6 months no
using Access. A week ago I had this feeling that I'm wasting my time
in Access. I don't think it's wise to keep on working with Access.
Instead I think I should consider learning and being a certified Oracle
proffessional or something. What do you guys think?

Thanks for your help.
Miriam


It depends what field of business you're in. Oracle is the heavyweight
contender but in my limited experience of it I am not aware of there being
any front end developer-interface as such - the systems I've worked on have
had very complexly coded HTML PL/SQL front ends. I am aware of a report
generator but it's a real pig compared to Access.You also don't have the
luxury of office links. Of course I stand to be corrected on all of this
since our version of Oracle is ancient but, as I say, depends what you want
to do.

Regards,
Keith.
www.keithwilby.com
May 11 '06 #2

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Keith,

Thanks a lot for you quick response. I really don't know what to do!
I used Oracle in my graduation project and I fell in love with it. But
I agree with you about the office links part.

Thanks,
Miriam

May 11 '06 #3

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"Louly" <mi*****@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@j73g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
Keith,

Thanks a lot for you quick response. I really don't know what to do!
I used Oracle in my graduation project and I fell in love with it. But
I agree with you about the office links part.

Thanks,
Miriam


What line of work are you in? The answer to that question will have a huge
bearing on which route you take.

Keith.
May 11 '06 #4

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IMO the goal of MS for Access is to enable development for and by those
with no brain, no education and no work ethic. If achievement without
effort appeals to you, go for Access, but remember that your
competition for work will be everyone.

If not, find something else. As you are 22, your potential is
unlimited. Starve for a few years. Learn everything about databases.
Read about databases in the bathtub. Sing about databases as you walk.
Write about databases to your parents. Argue about databases with your
friends.

Unless, of course, databases don't interest you; in that case sell Real
Estate.

May 11 '06 #5

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I work for an Intelectual Property Law firm. I'm not planning to work
here for long. I just want to finish this system and leave.

Well Lyle, I'm very much inrterested in Databases, but I still can't
answer the question of "do I want to spend the rest of my life in this
field or not?"

I really appreciate your help!

May 11 '06 #6

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> IMO the goal of MS for Access is to enable development for and by those
with no brain, no education and no work ethic.

correction - access is often USED BY this kind of person (resulting in
legacy headaches from hell usually). However, it should be acknowledged
that access (in the right hands) is an extremely powerful tool both as
a complete midrange database solution and a front end to more powerful
RDBMSs.

and lyle - speaking of work ethic - you do quite a bit of posting here
(usually good quality too) ...where do you get the time if you are so
busy working to your high ethical standards?

Louly, if you can get into Oracle dev work then do. the money is
faaaaar better and you will be taken a lot more seriously as an IT
professional. But be prepaired to work for banks on 24 call as part of
a large team, half of which is based in india - and with no end-to-end
creative input.

The thing i like about access dev work is that you tend to design the
whole deal, the front end and the back end. it's generally your baby
and you can do what you like with it.

May 11 '06 #7

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rkc
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
IMO the goal of MS for Access is to enable development for and by those
with no brain, no education and no work ethic. If achievement without
effort appeals to you, go for Access, but remember that your
competition for work will be everyone.


From what I have read that certainly seems to be the major
goal of Access 2007. Wizards up the wazoo. Amazing results
with out the need for a "developer".
May 11 '06 #8

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BillCo wrote:
IMO the goal of MS for Access is to enable development for and by those with no brain, no education and no work ethic.

correction - access is often USED BY this kind of person (resulting in
legacy headaches from hell usually). However, it should be acknowledged
that access (in the right hands) is an extremely powerful tool both as
a complete midrange database solution and a front end to more powerful
RDBMSs.


Over tha past few weeks here in CDMA we have had questions the reading
of which might generate the belief that the poster knows PISS ALL about
databases, computers or the subject of the database. This would not be
surprising and we could just go about the task of gently helping were
it not that often the identification or email designation of this
person indicates that he or she is, or works for a corporation called
Super_Smart_Data, or Supreme_Database_Solutions and the message text
indicates that this corporation has clients.
and lyle - speaking of work ethic - you do quite a bit of posting here
(usually good quality too) ...where do you get the time if you are so
busy working to your high ethical standards?


6:48 am
4:35 pm
9:41 am
10:16 am
6:52 am
5:36 am
7:23 am
6:13 am
2:00 am
8:07 pm

May 11 '06 #9

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>
6:48 am
4:35 pm
<snip>
8:07 pm

not married then ;)
works for a corporation called Super_Smart_Data, or Supreme_Database_Solutions and the message text indicates that this corporation has clients


Point well made and probably deserved... but the fact remains that
there is nothing inherently wrong with Access as a low to mid range
database solution. (notice i called it a database solution, not a
database or RDBMS - which technically it isnt).
It's robust, efficient, contains its own UI and programming tools
aswell as the *ahem* jet DB engine. It's great for RAD and prototyping.
In fact for small to mid sized organisations it's significantly the
better option for a lot of needs, especially when coupled with an SQL
back end for a larger user base. Would you build a .net interface to an
Oracle DB for managing stock in a small warehouse, or tracking public
enquiries to a small help desk?

May 11 '06 #10

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On Thu, 11 May 2006 11:17:05 GMT, rkc
<rk*@rochester.yabba.dabba.do.rr.bomb> wrote:

We are already looking forward to an increase in business. More
wizards don't make an amateur a professional. Let more people TRY to
build Access applications. Eventually you'll find a professional
company to "finish the last 5% :-)"

-Tom.

<clip>
From what I have read that certainly seems to be the major
goal of Access 2007. Wizards up the wazoo. Amazing results
with out the need for a "developer".


May 11 '06 #11

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I agree that a basic Access database can be set up by anyone, but as
someone who has followed behind many such and attempted to
fix/normalize them it can be frustrating. Especially when they say but
now I want this piece of information and they never tracked it or
planned to link it in the first place. It's always your fault they
didn't consider all the options which would have been considered if
they had spoken to someone who could ask the right questions.

I am a middle aged female computer consultant working in Access as well
as doing user support etc. As a female professional that has watched
this industry migrate from Mainframes to PCs to Client Server to net
based clients, I recommend you learn Oracle and/or SQL. There are many
more jobs available in those areas. Your Access experience can be used
for front ends along with .net and other options. Being stuck in
Access is a dead end unless you want to do lots of little independent
contracts.

May 11 '06 #12

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BillCo wrote:
Point well made and probably deserved... but the fact remains that
there is nothing inherently wrong with Access as a low to mid range
database solution. (notice i called it a database solution, not a
database or RDBMS - which technically it isnt).
It's robust, efficient, contains its own UI and programming tools
aswell as the *ahem* jet DB engine. It's great for RAD and prototyping.
In fact for small to mid sized organisations it's significantly the
better option for a lot of needs, especially when coupled with an SQL
back end for a larger user base.


I agree.

May 11 '06 #13

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"Louly" <mi*****@gmail.com> wrote in
news:11**********************@q12g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com:
Hi everybody,

I'm a 22 yrs old girl. I've been developing a Database for 6
months no using Access. A week ago I had this feeling that
I'm wasting my time in Access. I don't think it's wise to
keep on working with Access. Instead I think I should consider
learning and being a certified Oracle proffessional or
something. What do you guys think?

Thanks for your help.
Miriam

Where I work, we have several huge applications that are based
on Oracle. When we need to create a custom tool for viewing data
or generating reports, we use Access as a front end to the
Oracle tables. It's perfect as a front end to Oracle.

So continue to work in Access, and learn as much as you can
about Oracle. Then study how to use pass-through queries and
call stored procedures into Oracle from Access.

You then become twice as valuable as a developer.

BTW, I'd give the same advice to a 22 yrs old boy. Or a 55 yrs
old man.

--
Bob Quintal

PA is y I've altered my email address.
May 11 '06 #14

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"Tom van Stiphout" wrote
We are already looking forward to an increase in business. More
wizards don't make an amateur a professional. Let more people TRY to
build Access applications. Eventually you'll find a professional
company to "finish the last 5% :-)"


Yes, I've gotten those typical recruiter calls: "Have a great opportunity
for you... 95% done; just finish it and create a few reports, about a week
or two."

If you dig deep enough, you'll find the facts:

Requirements: in the head of some user manager, often a ditzy one;
always one with "no spare time for talking about the database again"; or
worse, in a user committee who weren't able to agree sufficiently to write
anything down. Usable % done - 0%.

Design: embodied only in the completed portion of database itself,
if any. Usable % done - 0%.

Implementation: in the head of the last developer who fled screaming
into the night: 50%. in the garbage can: 40%; in the database without a
single comment and with meaningless labels and variable names, and created
without a design: 5% - Usable % done - 0%.

Time to completion: most probable estimate: infinite, because you'll
never be able to extract anything but a vague, hand-waving description from
that ditzy user manager or committee.

Time before you flee screaming into the night like the previous
several developers: depends on your constitution and how gladly you suffer
fools, but you won't even be well-started on getting the Requirements in the
stated one or two weeks. Depending on the nervousness of whoever's holding
the customer purse-strings, you may be unceremoniously dumped for "exceeding
the recruiter's estimate" long before your patience runs out.

Rate the recruiter is willing to pay you: up to $10 - 15 per hour.
I mean, what do you expect for someone with no more experience and no better
credentials than you bring to the table.

Rate the recruiter is charging the customer: $100 - $150 per hour,
or more. I mean, what do they expect for the "Top Access Guy/Gal in this
Area"
May 11 '06 #15

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Hi, Miriam.
I think I should consider learning and being a certified Oracle
proffessional or something. What do you guys think?
I think you should find out whether you're cut out for it first, as training
and certification for Oracle professionals is quite expensive and requires
some amount of effort to succeed. There's the Oracle DBA track and the
Oracle developer track, and most people choose one or the other, because
there just aren't that many people who are good at both database
architecture/maintenance and software development.

I'd recommend downloading and installing the free Oracle database engine and
tools. Use them for a while and decide if this is your cup 'o tea.

For your database engine:

Oracle Database 10g Express Edition:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/pro.../xe/index.html
For database administration (and specifically the DBA track):

Oracle SQL Developer:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/sof...sql/index.html

Quest's TOAD (free trial):

http://www.quest.com/toad_for_oracle

Quest's TOAD (freeware -- limited features and expires every 60 days):

http://www.toadsoft.com/lic_agree.html

List of the differences between the TOAD freeware and the commercial
version:

http://www.quest.com/events/listdeta...ContentID=2229
For database application development (and specifically the Oracle developer
track):

Oracle JDeveloper 10g:

http://www.oracle.com/tools/jdev_home.html

Oracle Developer Suite (including JDeveloper, Oracle Designer,
Oracle Forms Developer, Oracle Software Configuration Manager,
Oracle Reports Developer, Oracle Discoverer, Oracle Warehouse
Builder, and Oracle Business Intelligence Beans):

http://www.oracle.com/tools/tools_editions.html

Oracle TopLink and Application Development Framework:

http://www.oracle.com/tools/toplink_adf.html

Oracle .NET Development Tools:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/dotnet/index.html

Oracle BPEL Process Manager:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/pro...pel/index.html
A week ago I had this feeling that I'm wasting my time
in Access.
I'm an Oracle DBA, and I got my start in relational databases with Access
several years ago. But before that, I was a software engineer in the Unix
world. Because of my background in software development, I could easily see
the novice computer skill level that Access is designed to exploit, so I
avoided using the common techniques that would allow me to shoot myself in
the foot when working with Access while I was getting valuable basic
experience with relational databases and their front end applications. I
also easily transferred the skills I learned in Access to Oracle, Informix,
SQL Server, and MySQL, because I made sure that I learned the right database
skills, such as normalization, SQL, techniques in relational database
design, referential integrity, cardinality, and performance tuning.

Client/server databases are more complex than Access by an order of
magnitude, and Oracle is more complex than many client/servers by another
order of magnitude. If your training ground taught you the skills I listed
above and required you to use SQL instead of the QBE Design Grid, and write
your own VBA expressions instead of relying on the Expression Builder, and
write VBA code instead of relying on the Control Wizards' poorly written
code or building macros, and never use brackets to "fix" incorrectly-named
identifiers in your code, then there's a good chance you can survive in the
client/server world, and possibly in the Oracle world, too.
I don't think it's wise to keep on working with Access.
Access makes an excellent front end to client/server databases in a RAD
environment that produces database applications in a fraction of the time,
and therefore at a fraction of the labor cost, as it does for other front
end solutions. So being able to build a stable, effective Access front end
is a definitely an asset. However, Access has a fairly steep learning
curve, so unless you've been tutored by Access gurus, in six months you're
not going to learn enough to create stable, effective front ends in a
fraction of the time as it takes for other front end solutions, unless
they're very simple front ends.

If you want to become really good at building stable, effective front ends
fast and cheaply, then plan to spend a few more years learning and
developing in Access. If you want to become a DBA or a database application
developer, one successful database application is a good start, but you need
to work on lots more to gain enough experience to become good at what you
do. Find technologies that interest you and where you have free or cheap
access to their tools, whether it be Oracle, SQL Server, Java, .Net, Delphi,
or any number of competing database engines and software development
technologies. Get experience building databases or database applications
with these tools, even if these aren't paid work assignments. Having the
skills for your next job when you seek it is usually more valuable than
having been paid to learn these skills on a previous job.

HTH.
Gunny

See http://www.QBuilt.com for all your database needs.
See http://www.Access.QBuilt.com for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials.
http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/ex...ributors2.html for contact
info.
"Louly" <mi*****@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@q12g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com... Hi everybody,

I'm a 22 yrs old girl. I've been developing a Database for 6 months no
using Access. A week ago I had this feeling that I'm wasting my time
in Access. I don't think it's wise to keep on working with Access.
Instead I think I should consider learning and being a certified Oracle
proffessional or something. What do you guys think?

Thanks for your help.
Miriam

May 11 '06 #16

P: n/a
DFS
'69 Camaro wrote:
Hi, Miriam.
I think I should consider learning and being a certified Oracle
proffessional or something. What do you guys think?


I think you should find out whether you're cut out for it first, as
training and certification for Oracle professionals is quite
expensive and requires some amount of effort to succeed. There's the
Oracle DBA track and the Oracle developer track, and most people
choose one or the other, because there just aren't that many people
who are good at both database architecture/maintenance and software
development.


Mr. Camaro,

Do you have an OCP designation? Any suggestions for training classes, or
instructors/firms? I haven't looked: are all the classes taught by Oracle
employees? How many are required?

I've been thinking off and on about pursuing an OCP - not sure whether DBA
or developer track. I have enough experience to step into an Oracle
"development DBA" or data architect role (in fact I've done it a couple of
times), but after being the sole developer/DBA on so many Access/Oracle/SQL
Server projects, I think being just a full-time DBA would get boring. I
like to write code, to build interface-event driven systems, and write adhoc
query systems, and slice n' dice data.

Whaddaya think?

Thanks
May 12 '06 #17

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Hi.
Do you have an OCP designation?
No. I've taken the required courses, and I probably should have taken the
exams as well, but I've worked with so many certified IT personnel in other
technologies who can't do their jobs unless they're assigned very simple,
routine tasks that I'd rather keep my distance from the category of
"certified clueless."
Any suggestions for training classes, or
instructors/firms?
Your best bet is to go to work for a large company with a budget to send
employees to formal classes, because it's expensive and takes a good number
of weeks of all-day training, usually located in a nearby major city. If
you pick the right company to work for, the company will pay for both the
classes and your travel expenses, too.

Bring a tape recorder with you to record the instructor, because you'll
probably need to replay it over and over later to figure out what he said.
About half of the Oracle employee instructors speak English as a second or
third language, and their accents are so thick that much of what they're
saying is incomprehensible. They assure you that they aren't on work visas
and have lived in the U.S. for decades, but you can tell that they recently
immigrated to the U.S. and learned English from non-native English speakers
because of the bizarre things they say, especially when they attempt to use
slang or humor, and they aren't yet familiar with any American social
customs.
I haven't looked: are all the classes taught by Oracle
employees?
No, but most are. The classes taught at Oracle training facilities are
usually taught by Oracle employees. Some Oracle classes are taught at major
corporations by that corporation's employees who are Oracle-certified
trainers. For example, a close friend of mine is so good at Oracle that he
went up through the ranks of certification and eventually became an
Oracle-certified trainer of Oracle trainers, and has trained Disney, 3M, and
GMAC employees to train their company's employees in formal Oracle courses
in their company's classrooms. He has never worked for Oracle (they can't
pay him enough to lure him away).
How many are required?
Depends upon how far you want to go. It takes a minimum of two exams and at
least one "hands-on" course (a formal Oracle course) to receive the first
level of certification, Oracle Certified Associate (OCA). Please see the
following Web page for more information on Oracle certifications:

http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_...age?page_id=50
I think being just a full-time DBA would get boring. I
like to write code, to build interface-event driven systems, and write
adhoc
query systems, and slice n' dice data.
Even full-time DBA's can write a lot of code and queries that slice 'n dice
data. If the organization has never before had a professional Oracle DBA,
then a lot of the dynamic SQL needed for database maintenance and easy
schema migrations hasn't been written yet. And application developers are
always asking for help with their SQL, stored procedures in PL/SQL, and even
SQL*Plus for their ad-hoc reports if they don't have a more sophistocated
tool. The Oracle DBA is the expert they turn to.
Whaddaya think?
It sounds like you should aim for the developer certification path, but you
should also take a few of the DBA courses to learn about the "whys" and
"hows" of the database engine so that you can be a more effective database
application developer, and even step into a junior Oracle DBA role whenever
necessary -- which will make you more valuable to a company.

HTH.
Gunny

See http://www.QBuilt.com for all your database needs.
See http://www.Access.QBuilt.com for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials.
http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/ex...ributors2.html for contact
info.
"DFS" <nospam@dfs_.com> wrote in message
news:_l******************@bignews1.bellsouth.net.. . '69 Camaro wrote:
Hi, Miriam.
I think I should consider learning and being a certified Oracle
proffessional or something. What do you guys think?


I think you should find out whether you're cut out for it first, as
training and certification for Oracle professionals is quite
expensive and requires some amount of effort to succeed. There's the
Oracle DBA track and the Oracle developer track, and most people
choose one or the other, because there just aren't that many people
who are good at both database architecture/maintenance and software
development.


Mr. Camaro,

Do you have an OCP designation? Any suggestions for training classes, or
instructors/firms? I haven't looked: are all the classes taught by Oracle
employees? How many are required?

I've been thinking off and on about pursuing an OCP - not sure whether DBA
or developer track. I have enough experience to step into an Oracle
"development DBA" or data architect role (in fact I've done it a couple of
times), but after being the sole developer/DBA on so many
Access/Oracle/SQL
Server projects, I think being just a full-time DBA would get boring. I
like to write code, to build interface-event driven systems, and write
adhoc
query systems, and slice n' dice data.

Whaddaya think?

Thanks

May 12 '06 #18

P: n/a
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in
news:WeP8g.9022$Fh.5138@trnddc02:
Yes, I've gotten those typical recruiter calls: "Have a great
opportunity for you... 95% done; just finish it and create a few
reports, about a week or two."

If you dig deep enough, you'll find the facts:

Requirements: in the head of some user manager, often a
ditzy one;
always one with "no spare time for talking about the database
again"; or worse, in a user committee who weren't able to agree
sufficiently to write anything down. Usable % done - 0%.

Design: embodied only in the completed portion of database
itself,
if any. Usable % done - 0%.

Implementation: in the head of the last developer who fled
screaming
into the night: 50%. in the garbage can: 40%; in the database
without a single comment and with meaningless labels and variable
names, and created without a design: 5% - Usable % done - 0%.

Time to completion: most probable estimate: infinite,
because you'll
never be able to extract anything but a vague, hand-waving
description from that ditzy user manager or committee.

Time before you flee screaming into the night like the
previous
several developers: depends on your constitution and how gladly
you suffer fools, but you won't even be well-started on getting
the Requirements in the stated one or two weeks. Depending on the
nervousness of whoever's holding the customer purse-strings, you
may be unceremoniously dumped for "exceeding the recruiter's
estimate" long before your patience runs out.

Rate the recruiter is willing to pay you: up to $10 - 15
per hour.
I mean, what do you expect for someone with no more experience and
no better credentials than you bring to the table.

Rate the recruiter is charging the customer: $100 - $150
per hour,
or more. I mean, what do they expect for the "Top Access Guy/Gal
in this Area"
Brilliant post, Larry.

It's not at all far off from the real world at all, not even really
exaggerated.

When these kinds of things cross my desk, I just tell them something
like "$XX/hour, 18-100 hours." This usually scares the bad ones away
as they can't imagine committing to the larger number.

The usual situation is that someone describes the process as "really
simple and straightforward," not because it *is* simple and
straightforward (they are in no position to judge), but because they
*want* it to be simple and straightforward, and that's what they
want to pay for it.

Here's how one of those went. I'd seen a posting on a non-Access
list:
I need someone to help develop a small MS access project. Need a
project rate, so contact me via email with a resume and experience
with MS Access as well as availability this week and I will
provide details of the project.
Without a detailed spec, I do not quote project rates.

My rate is $70/hour.

===
My next reply was:
Thank you! Well, a chamber of commerce has asked me to basically
develop a complete Access form whereby one can:

1. Enter contact information
a. Normal fields include (but is not limited to) Company name,
Contact 1, contact 2, contact 3, address, phone, email, website,
membership date (for each contact), event participation (for each
contact), notes, board member/officer year (for each contact) --
I WILL SEND YOU ALL THE FIELDS WHEN WE ARE READY. b. Other more
advanced fields are drop downs which need to be editable by
another form to include options for membership status, business
type 2. Search information to display a report or print address
labels: a. By all fields using either one or many of the options

Let me know what the cost and the date this could be completed.
Well, that's not even close to being detailed enough to put a fixed
price on it. I'd estimate it as 12-36 hours, but can't get any more
specific about that unless there's more specific information,
including the schema, any outside dependencies, any compatibility
issues (do they want to do Word mail merges? will they be sending
files in a particular format to a mailing house, etc.).

I'm mostly available but have a few duties to accomplish in the next
couple of weeks, but I work from home and can easily move things
around in my work schedule to accommodate a project that's on the
fast track.

Mailing lists sound very easy. But they aren't. There are a whole
host of issues that most people don't consider, and that I've been
through many times and know are stumbling blocks. Here are some:

1. existing data -- is there any? Is it clean? Does it have dead
addresses in it? Is it in a normalized format?

2. is the mailed entity in all cases an individual, or is it
sometimes and organization and sometimes a person at an
organization? Are there multiple people being mailed at a single
address?

3. phone numbers and addresses: how normalized should this be? How
useful is normalization to them for what they are going to be using
it for? Is it going to serve as their main phone book/address book?
If so, phone numbers and addresses should be normalized to make
lookups accurate and efficient.

4. do you need historical membership information? Or just the most
recent? If so, the membership date has to go in a separate table,
rather than just being a field in the member record.

5. what exactly gets tracked in the events table? How many events
are involved? Are they recurring or ad hoc?

6. besides labels, what reports do they need? Phone book printout?
Address book printout? Event attendance? Membership?

7. how do they handle membership? Does everybody expire once a year?
What do they do with lapsed members? Do they need to generate
reminders for mailing to the members who are renewing?

That's just a few that occur to me off the top of my head.

I did a simple membership/event tracking app for a client last year
(I note that I forgot about it when I last updated my resume), and
the biggest problem I had with the project was getting the client to
decide what they wanted to do. It wasn't a matter of them
understanding the options, but the problem was that they couldn't
make decisions. They also had about 3K records in their legacy
membership list, and they needed to do a data cleanup before they
could start using the new application (it wouldn't have mattered if
the data were messy, but they wanted it cleaned up first), and they
ended up splitting up the list editing among volunteers using Excel
spreadsheets, and I ended up having to program an import routine to
take the Excel spreadsheets and process them against the existing
data records. This seemed trivial in the beginning, but ended up
taking up a great deal of time.

So, before I can say anything useful about the actual price, lots of
issues need to be resolved.

If you'd like me to meet with the client to iron these things out,
that's fine. That makes it much easier for me to get a feel for what
target we're aiming at. But, if you want to handle all the client
interaction, that's fine, too.

===
And that resulted in this:

You wrote: That would be too much.


With such a nebulous project description, it's impossible for me to
quote anything that doesn't include a huge CYA factor. Anyone with
any experience in this kind of thing will tell you the same thing.

If you hire someone cheap and what your client ends up with never
really works properly, I'm still available to fix it -- much of my
work is precisely that, fixing up failed Access development
projects.

Good luck finding someone competent for less than what I quoted.

===

I was perfectly happy not to get the job, as it was clearly a case
of someone who hadn't a clue what the hell was going on.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
May 12 '06 #19

P: n/a
"'69 Camaro" <Fo**************************@Spameater.orgZERO_SP AM>
wrote in news:Nv******************************@adelphia.com :
Get experience building databases or database applications


This is the key distinction that most people using Access never
quite get: the application is distinct from the database, and the
skills needed for the two are completely different.

There is no end of work for Access applications, since they can run
as front end against any back end.

But there are limitations to what kinds of databases can be usefully
built in Access (i.e., JET). Those limitations are capacious enough,
though, to encompass the vast majority of small businesses in the
world (i.e., businesses with fewer than 100 employees), and it's not
at all that hard to make at least part of a decent living in a large
city as an Access developer working only with small businesses.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
May 12 '06 #20

P: n/a
I'm determinig categories of projects to refer to Lyle. In this thread, I've
found I can add all those projects with deeply nested Withs. They go right
in there along with the DAPs and ADPs with ADO.

And, to someone who posted that the same is true for any nesting, I
disagree -- it's the same only if the nesting omits part of the definition
or statement. It could have been worse I suppose... each level of nesting
could be applied to the earlier levels so there would be, potentially, a
long string of omitted names for you to go back and figure it out.

Larry Linson
Microsoft Access MVP
"David W. Fenton" <XX*******@dfenton.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:Xn**********************************@127.0.0. 1...
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in
news:WeP8g.9022$Fh.5138@trnddc02:
Yes, I've gotten those typical recruiter calls: "Have a great
opportunity for you... 95% done; just finish it and create a few
reports, about a week or two."

If you dig deep enough, you'll find the facts:

Requirements: in the head of some user manager, often a
ditzy one;
always one with "no spare time for talking about the database
again"; or worse, in a user committee who weren't able to agree
sufficiently to write anything down. Usable % done - 0%.

Design: embodied only in the completed portion of database
itself,
if any. Usable % done - 0%.

Implementation: in the head of the last developer who fled
screaming
into the night: 50%. in the garbage can: 40%; in the database
without a single comment and with meaningless labels and variable
names, and created without a design: 5% - Usable % done - 0%.

Time to completion: most probable estimate: infinite,
because you'll
never be able to extract anything but a vague, hand-waving
description from that ditzy user manager or committee.

Time before you flee screaming into the night like the
previous
several developers: depends on your constitution and how gladly
you suffer fools, but you won't even be well-started on getting
the Requirements in the stated one or two weeks. Depending on the
nervousness of whoever's holding the customer purse-strings, you
may be unceremoniously dumped for "exceeding the recruiter's
estimate" long before your patience runs out.

Rate the recruiter is willing to pay you: up to $10 - 15
per hour.
I mean, what do you expect for someone with no more experience and
no better credentials than you bring to the table.

Rate the recruiter is charging the customer: $100 - $150
per hour,
or more. I mean, what do they expect for the "Top Access Guy/Gal
in this Area"


Brilliant post, Larry.

It's not at all far off from the real world at all, not even really
exaggerated.

When these kinds of things cross my desk, I just tell them something
like "$XX/hour, 18-100 hours." This usually scares the bad ones away
as they can't imagine committing to the larger number.

The usual situation is that someone describes the process as "really
simple and straightforward," not because it *is* simple and
straightforward (they are in no position to judge), but because they
*want* it to be simple and straightforward, and that's what they
want to pay for it.

Here's how one of those went. I'd seen a posting on a non-Access
list:
I need someone to help develop a small MS access project. Need a
project rate, so contact me via email with a resume and experience
with MS Access as well as availability this week and I will
provide details of the project.


Without a detailed spec, I do not quote project rates.

My rate is $70/hour.

===
My next reply was:
Thank you! Well, a chamber of commerce has asked me to basically
develop a complete Access form whereby one can:

1. Enter contact information
a. Normal fields include (but is not limited to) Company name,
Contact 1, contact 2, contact 3, address, phone, email, website,
membership date (for each contact), event participation (for each
contact), notes, board member/officer year (for each contact) --
I WILL SEND YOU ALL THE FIELDS WHEN WE ARE READY. b. Other more
advanced fields are drop downs which need to be editable by
another form to include options for membership status, business
type 2. Search information to display a report or print address
labels: a. By all fields using either one or many of the options

Let me know what the cost and the date this could be completed.


Well, that's not even close to being detailed enough to put a fixed
price on it. I'd estimate it as 12-36 hours, but can't get any more
specific about that unless there's more specific information,
including the schema, any outside dependencies, any compatibility
issues (do they want to do Word mail merges? will they be sending
files in a particular format to a mailing house, etc.).

I'm mostly available but have a few duties to accomplish in the next
couple of weeks, but I work from home and can easily move things
around in my work schedule to accommodate a project that's on the
fast track.

Mailing lists sound very easy. But they aren't. There are a whole
host of issues that most people don't consider, and that I've been
through many times and know are stumbling blocks. Here are some:

1. existing data -- is there any? Is it clean? Does it have dead
addresses in it? Is it in a normalized format?

2. is the mailed entity in all cases an individual, or is it
sometimes and organization and sometimes a person at an
organization? Are there multiple people being mailed at a single
address?

3. phone numbers and addresses: how normalized should this be? How
useful is normalization to them for what they are going to be using
it for? Is it going to serve as their main phone book/address book?
If so, phone numbers and addresses should be normalized to make
lookups accurate and efficient.

4. do you need historical membership information? Or just the most
recent? If so, the membership date has to go in a separate table,
rather than just being a field in the member record.

5. what exactly gets tracked in the events table? How many events
are involved? Are they recurring or ad hoc?

6. besides labels, what reports do they need? Phone book printout?
Address book printout? Event attendance? Membership?

7. how do they handle membership? Does everybody expire once a year?
What do they do with lapsed members? Do they need to generate
reminders for mailing to the members who are renewing?

That's just a few that occur to me off the top of my head.

I did a simple membership/event tracking app for a client last year
(I note that I forgot about it when I last updated my resume), and
the biggest problem I had with the project was getting the client to
decide what they wanted to do. It wasn't a matter of them
understanding the options, but the problem was that they couldn't
make decisions. They also had about 3K records in their legacy
membership list, and they needed to do a data cleanup before they
could start using the new application (it wouldn't have mattered if
the data were messy, but they wanted it cleaned up first), and they
ended up splitting up the list editing among volunteers using Excel
spreadsheets, and I ended up having to program an import routine to
take the Excel spreadsheets and process them against the existing
data records. This seemed trivial in the beginning, but ended up
taking up a great deal of time.

So, before I can say anything useful about the actual price, lots of
issues need to be resolved.

If you'd like me to meet with the client to iron these things out,
that's fine. That makes it much easier for me to get a feel for what
target we're aiming at. But, if you want to handle all the client
interaction, that's fine, too.

===
And that resulted in this:

You wrote:
That would be too much.


With such a nebulous project description, it's impossible for me to
quote anything that doesn't include a huge CYA factor. Anyone with
any experience in this kind of thing will tell you the same thing.

If you hire someone cheap and what your client ends up with never
really works properly, I'm still available to fix it -- much of my
work is precisely that, fixing up failed Access development
projects.

Good luck finding someone competent for less than what I quoted.

===

I was perfectly happy not to get the job, as it was clearly a case
of someone who hadn't a clue what the hell was going on.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/

May 13 '06 #21

P: n/a
rkc
Larry Linson wrote:
I'm determinig categories of projects to refer to Lyle. In this thread, I've
found I can add all those projects with deeply nested Withs. They go right
in there along with the DAPs and ADPs with ADO.

And, to someone who posted that the same is true for any nesting, I
disagree -- it's the same only if the nesting omits part of the definition
or statement. It could have been worse I suppose... each level of nesting
could be applied to the earlier levels so there would be, potentially, a
long string of omitted names for you to go back and figure it out.


If you actually think that code has deeply nested With blocks
you're getting too old to read code or you didn't bother to look
at it at all.
May 13 '06 #22

P: n/a
Larry Linson wrote:
It could have been worse I suppose... each level of nesting
could be applied to the earlier levels so there would be, potentially, a
long string of omitted names for you to go back and figure it out.


Like this?

Private Sub This()
With DBEngine
With .Workspaces
With .Item(0)
With .Databases
With .Item(0)
MsgBox .Name
End With
End With
End With
End With
End With
End Sub

Of course, you'd also have "to go back and figure out" that most (all?)
collections have a hidden .Item Property.

With This
I have no problem
End With

May 13 '06 #23

P: n/a
Surely, Lyle, you can have all my dataases with that many levels of nesting.

"Lyle Fairfield" <ly***********@aim.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@j73g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
Larry Linson wrote:
It could have been worse I suppose... each level of nesting
could be applied to the earlier levels so there would be, potentially, a
long string of omitted names for you to go back and figure it out.


Like this?

Private Sub This()
With DBEngine
With .Workspaces
With .Item(0)
With .Databases
With .Item(0)
MsgBox .Name
End With
End With
End With
End With
End With
End Sub

Of course, you'd also have "to go back and figure out" that most (all?)
collections have a hidden .Item Property.

With This
I have no problem
End With

May 14 '06 #24

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.