Server Side

This is the first course review that I wrote in the heat of it so-to-speak. As shame, drink and time hadn’t destroyed the necessary brain cells or given me the opportunity to overwrite history in the software of my head it is, maybe, a fuller and fairer review than usual.

Quiet in here

For some reason this course never really took off for me, and I suspect for some other people as well. I didn’t post as much, work as hard and I care an [unspecified amount] less than usual about the final mark.

It was certainly a whole lot less frenetic in the conferences. I suppose that this might be partly because there were less of us, under 200, but I sensed that many of us just plain flummoxed.

The teach conference was an embarrassment, nobody seemed to want to post. I felt bad for the mods, they did their level to get things going but it was like fishing in a puddle: nobody was biting.

However the cafe was its usual mix of chocolate, trivia and nonsense. The usual suspects were well to the fore, but there were some new nutters onboard. Indeed one of the mods gave us a compliment, of sorts:

You are the battiest/most inventive tt282 cohort ever.

The only real spat was right at the death when Tony N and Steve B, two of the course heavyweights, got into the most entertaining argument about how implement the address field in the customer registration form. Which, although they both made good points was, in my humble, lightweight, opinion, a matter of personal choice.

The course

Again the ironmongers from hell, A and B, with their “somewhat successful website” want a report and some code from us; and we had to pay for the privilege of obliging them.

They now want to vend their crap on line; so we were required to complete a half-done web application, and to report on the security/privacy issues. The precious gits.

The code was to be in ASP and VBscript.

The idea of getting us to finish a mostly completed application was an excellent one. I’ve never had to code around others and it was a salutary experience having some of the decisions made for you.

New this time were the wireframes, 15% of the marks. I’d thought that wireframes were just un-styled pages, but it turned out that these modelled the process flow. I quite liked the idea, but I suspect that they are going to be like entity modelling for databases—something that I’ll do to support my unconsidered decisions after the event.

The report was a short 2000 words and 50% of the marks. However, this included headings and references so you had to be concise. Bad news for wafflers like me.

What did you do in the TT282 neil?

I finished with a heart-racing last-minute submission, because on the day before cut-off I decided to “make it better” after which my pages started to display all kinds of weird behaviour. I fixed it I hope, but a lesson was learned for the future—lose a few marks rather than risking losing the lot!

I did the wireframes, but I’m not sure how well.

But my report was awful—truly, truly awful. I don’t think that I really addressed all the points, or even understood what was being asked of me.

I did do a few things in my pages to secure them and I mentioned these in the report. But I think that this was probably a wasted effort and that the words might have been better used discussing something more relevant. Everone else seemed to be worried about too many words but, despite my wafflers quip above, I struggled to even reach the magic 1998.

Can I learn VBscript and ASP on this course?

For once an unqualified yes. But that begs the question, do you want to? It’s old kit.

Worth doing?

This course was well designed and for once I, almost, kept the study guides, rather than doing the traditional ritual naked olive-oil burning dance. But tradition won out in the end.

You always learn something on these courses and it has probably given me a good grounding in the basics of, thinking about, securing a server. But, it has to be said that it is unlikely ever going to be allowed do this.

What did everyone else think?

I posted a link to this page in the cafe with a request for others’ thoughts but I suspect that they were all sleeping off some kind of drink/chocolate related overdose.

Those who did reply agreed with me – a bad sign.