Saturday, July 16

Onsite working - My Experience

Last week i got an opportunity to work with a company on their project for couple of days. I learned about this gig through a friend, and since i am doing nothing at present, i immediately said yes to it. It was an
amazing experience. I had to develop and modify the front end of the system. The project was done in java, hibernate i guess, with some technology called wicket (I think it is a ajax library for java).

So my main task was to write semantic html, css and design as per the needs. Apart from that they even had some issues with the menu which i had to fix. I was looking forward to this and i must admit, it was an
amazing experience.

The company.

It was super cool, nicely furnished office. Could accommodate about 20 people. I learned that this company was founded by some of the well experienced techies. The company had mostly java developers and most of
them were pretty experienced.

My Role

I had to handle the front end of the project. The project was in its release phase, and since they had to do bug fixing and improve the functionality, they had to hire someone who would take care of the UI.
An expert.

The role and responsibility increases drastically, when you learn that you are the expert and have to finish some tasks in a given amount of time. Since i had no prior experience working in eclipse, or in fact any
java project, i was little nervous. But the developers over there were very very helpful.

My Experience
I realized that, a project to reach its completion, there is a lot of hard work. It is suppose to be a team
effort and no individual alone can be a hero. Everyone has equal and significant role.

Working in a team, if all has a right mindset, can be very fruitful. The team was very helpful. They introduced me to the project, the IDE, how to execute the project etc. Also if i had a simple issue, they would
come to my cubicle and help me solve it. In fact the entire team would move to help anyone upon request. The important mantra was, do not delay, take help and get moving.

I realized that they were using tools that would speed up their development. High end machines.Taking the complete advantage of Eclipse IDE, Verson control like SVN, Bug tracking software, wireframing
software etc. Everyone had high speed internet connection. Apart from that, a pantry with unlimited coffee, snacks which i think is a perfect example of how a software development company is suppose to be. 

Courtesy : Google.
Image : A pic in between looks nice. Got it from google search. In future might start drawing my own cartoons.


All in all i learned a lot. Given my interest in java, i learned how to use the IDE, i learned about some plugins, How a java project looks like etc. Looking forward to such small time gigs. I feel some small time
contract based jobs help a lot. They help to get out of your daily routine and most importantly, they teach you new things, help build up relationships.

Wednesday, July 6

Data Types in PHP and other notes

Following is the excerpts i read from a php programming book.

In php, we have scalar data types and compound data types.
Scalar data types means data that contains only a single value. Php has these scalar data types
  1. Integer - A number eg. 15
  2. Float - A floating point number eg. 8.25
  3. string - A series of characters eg. "hello world"
  4. Boolean - Represents either true or false eg. true
Compound data is data that can contain more than a value.
  1. Array - An ordered map (Contains names or numbers mapped to values)
  2. Object - A type that can contain properties or methods.
Apart from these, php also contains special data types.
  1. Resource - Contains reference to an external resource, such as a file or database.
  2. Null - May contain only null as a value,meaning the variable explicitly does not contain any value.
Php is known as a loosely typed language. It does not care about the type of data being stored in a variable. It converts a variables data type automatically, depending on the context in which the variable is used.

Other Notes
Php considers the following values to be false
  1. The literal value false
  2. The integer zero (0)
  3. The float zero (0.0)
  4. An empty string (" ")
  5. The string zero ("0")
  6. An array with zero elements
  7. The special type null including any unset variable

Monday, July 4

Configuring eclipse helios with apache tomcat.

I had to connect eclipse with apache tomcat so that i could run my web application. I had installed the apache tomcat 6 server in my drive. You can get apache tomcat from here.

Open eclipse (I am using eclipse - helios) , Go to Window -> preferences -> Server -> Runtime Environments

From the "Server Runtime Environment" dialogue box, click on ADD to add "New server Runtime Environment". Select Apache and Under that select Apache tomcat v 6.0. Click next and then browse to the directory where your apache is installed.

Now you have to start the server so that you can run your web apps. To get the server option, click on the button at the bottom left which says "show view as a fast view" when you hover over it. Click on "other" and select "server".

A "server" is added on your project explorer pane. Drag this to your "console pane" (Not sure what this is called). You will then see a "server" tab with apache tomcat option. Right click on it and then you will get option to start the server.

P.S : If you know a better way or if what i done is not correct, please help with your suggestions.

Eclipse helios - mysql driver to connect to the database

Create a new dynamic web project.

Download the mysql driver and copy the jar file and save it inside your webContent -> WEB-INF -> lib folder.

To connect to the mysql database, you need to have this driver installed in your web application.

You can download the driver from here