I’m seriously wondering if there will ever be a future for me in technology. My current project, developing a storefront site for a friend of mine, is moving really, really slowly, and it’s all my fault. You see, computers are my hobby; most of my non-work, non-sleeping time is spent at a computer doing god knows what. Sometimes, I even write program code. But when I mix money and heavy expectations in with my love for tech, what I get is cold disdain for the stuff and me not wanting to do much of anything.
The project itself is changing. Previously, we had set forth to write the shopping and catalog system from the ground up. I was planning the database, creating the models, thinking of workflow and interface design, doing what I could to get something usable. But I was moving not fast enough for my client. And there is the rift. What accounts for lead development time is too long for the customer who needs things operational now.
So I’ve completely scrapped the original plans to use Ruby on Rails to build a storefront. Instead, I’m going with an opensource PHP alternative, ZenCart. I know squat about PHP, but what I’m seeing is easy enough to understand somewhat. Nevertheless, the entire solution is prebuilt and usable from the get-go with a little configuration, which is exactly what the customer wants and needs. My plan is to set it up, allow her to add products and categories to her catalog and begin taking orders while I learn the templating system and make changes to the design.
For the paltry price I quoted, I should’ve gone with a prebuilt solution from the start. Now, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’ve gotten rid of the prideful righteousness that goes with saying “I completely wrote this”; such mindedness serves me no purpose and does a disservice to my client. Seems I’m finally understanding what the Industry considers a standard dictum: prebuilt is cheap, custom-crafted costs money.