Thursday, 17 September 2009

Glad To Be Back

Well, four months doesn’t seem like two minutes ago now I’m back in the class room. It’s good to see everyone settle into the routine fairly easily and it seems like no one has been away. There was usual banter while on our break and everyone has a smile on their face.

Myself, Tim and Martyn were able to talk to some of the first years and get a feel for their tensions that I know we had on the first day of college. It’s good to see, in a way, that they all have the same expectations and feelings as our group did.

Looking ahead, I have found it quite hard to get back into the swing of things this morning as we had to prepare our SMLP. Just knowing where to start was the hard part but as time wore on it became clear what needed to be done. All I needed to do was to break down the information and chip away at it in manageable chunks.

Reading back on my Sign Of The Times blog entry it’s quite clear to see what I need to take into consideration to really push the envelope this year: get feedback and criticism. I feel that I don’t necessarily need to rely just on the people in my class and other students and I am going to try and receive feedback from as many people as I can. This may come in the form of other designers in the industry so I will need to take advantage of the many forums/blogs out there to get real insight.

I have also stated, in the said blog entry, that I am worried about group work. And as stated the time to worry is drawing closer. I think that as the year progresses we, as a group, will probably fall into roles rather than be fighting over them. The only worry is that we can work effectively as a group. But, to repeat myself, worrying about this at the present time is nothing to get worked up about.

Something I need to seriously consider for our new assignment, A9: Up Your Street, is the costing of time. I was able to scrape some work together over the holiday but drastically under charged for my time. I failed to research how valuable my time was and as a result I feel cheated. Not by the person I did the work for but by myself for not reading up on this subject. This will not happen again.

All said, I am looking forward to the little time we have together as a group. As was said in a lecture it is a time to really experiment with the skills I have developed over the first year and to really try and wow myself. There will be times in the industry, most times in fact, that I will never get to express my creativity in a way I see fit. Hopefully people feel the same way and are looking forward to the journey.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Resources For My SMLP

Stated below is a list of resources I will be using to help me manage my SMLP. These include a mixture of online manuals, tutorials and physical copies of books.

  2. The definitive resource for php. This will be my bible, at least for php coding, that will guide me through my SMLP. There are many snippets of useful information and users comments that will help me along the way.

  4. Again, the definitive resource for MySQL. This site hold all reference libraries and manuals and will be my first port of call if I am overcome by any obstacles regarding MySQL.

  6. I have skimmed the surface of tizag and from what I see it seems to be quite a useful resource in learning PHP scripting. It has a step by step suitable for the novice user leading into more advanced tutorials.

  8. PHP Freaks is a network of help resources that stem in the forms of tutorials, blogs, feeds and forums. The blogs and feeds will keep me up to date with current issues/work-arounds/news with all things PHP.

  10. This site will provide me with help topics and tutorials on both PHP and MySQL. I have used it in the past to learn HTML as a fundamental building block but I feel that I will probably use this for points of reference and 'quick fixes' as the site it's self doesn't delve into great depths with scripts.

  12. PHP Builder is forum driven site and will probably be fundamental in my learning. No doubt I will become stuck in my learning process and will need help in resolving issues that are beyond my learning at that stage.

  14. This site has many tutorials which I am sure will become an invaluable source in figuring out the bones of the code. I will be able to follow some of the tutorials and then strip them down to figure out how the operate.

  15. O'Riely - PHP Cookbook
  16. PHP Cookbook, from the preview on amazon, looks like it is in an easy to understand format and seems to be more of a reference book than a tutorial book. I feel this will be used more to the end of my SMLP as I will be able to use it for problem solving rather than learning.

  17. PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide
  18. Although I have yet to buy this title I have looked at the preview on and found that the introduction seems to be in plain English and easy to digest. Hopefully the MySQL portion of the book will be just as easy to follow as I do not plan on buying a book aimed purely at MySQL.*

  19. PHP In Easy Steps

    I have used JavaScript In Easy Steps in the past and know the format and think I should be able to pick it up quite easy. Hearing feedback from last years leavers have cemented my decision.

A few books I have decided not to include in my SMLP are the 'For Dummies' series. I have had an opportunity to read these books from the library, both SQL (5th edition) and PHP 5, and have decided to go on the recommendations of past students as they don't seem to have done too bad in there educations at Wakefield College.

[*] I have decided not to include any exclusive books on MySQL as one of the books stated is PHP and MySQL and I feel this will be ample for my SMLP.

Word count: 598