Coding for the Web: Like Making Sausage subject logo: UNIX
2005-12-18
Posted by: badanov

We were about the post this on Dennis the Peasant's site but we decided it would be better to make a separate entry in our own blog.

Dennis the Peasant wants to point out the base incompetence of Pajamas Media, more particularly, Roger Simon, in getting the basic element of their business, ads, running properly after seven months and $7 million.

And so it would seem. And then we came up with this novel theory:

Whomever is doing the coding for Pajamas Media is having problems in getting the coding out to 70 other blogs. As we have written elsewhere on other blogs, coding stuff for the web is easy, even if you do write the actual lines of code, as we do. Where coding gets difficult is when you have a number of databases involved and if those databases are in remote locations. Problems arise such as security, including all the basic elements that comprise security, firewalls, script security and backups.

As all the above is time consuming, yet nowhere near as time consuming as testing it.

When we set a project for ourself, we allot three to four times the amount of time and resources in testing as it takes to code the damn thing. And all that assumes you are no already behind schedule in other areas. You can add even larger factors of time if ACID type transactions ate involved, which in this case, ACID transactions should be required.

Our thinking is this: it is Charles Johnson himself that could be doing to coding in this project, doing so to save his new company money, a wise move for a simple project for a small business owner. If that is in fact the case, then all this could explain a lot of events we have been seeing on including an apology issued recently because he was so busy he couldn't blog about anything.

And this all goes back to managerial competence. We have zero doubt Johnson can code; he does so for his own weblog and for his web page design business. But could he handle a project that distributes common ads to 70 disparate sites? All the time we have outlined above it would take to code and test something of this nature, could be compounded in distributing code. Not all sites use the same operating system or language backend, or even the same databases. Putting together a code suite to address these issues would be incredibly time-consuming and therefore costly.

If our theory holds true we may never find out about it. A wiser move, assuming the above would have been to hire an outside company to at least oversee the project and help out when things get dicy.

Hint: We don't just do security audits, by the way.

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