Learning is A Good Thing ™

I’ve learned quite a bit over the past 4 months. It’s been four months since I left everything I know. Lots of life lessons, but I won’t bore you with those. However, I will bore you with the nerd lessons I’ve learned.

  • Credit Card Processing with PHP, CURL, and Authorize.net. Authorize’s AIM has a few quirks (only via SSL, transaction keys vs. passwords and usernames) but once you get past all of the red tape it’s fairly pleasant to use. The Authorize.net AIM Guide is a great place to start.
  • Servers! Server administration was the largest gap in my knowledge of the web. Previously, I’ve always relied on others to do the server setup for me. Currently, at work our department is charged with the task of managing four servers. The servers handle a variety of tasks including: Samba file-serving between Linux/Mac/Windows, email using qmail, DNS using TinyDNS, user account creation/authentication, instant messaging via jabber, LDAP with slapd, and a myriad of other services. I have also seen SSL certificate creation/signing. It’s interesting seeing the concert that happens once all of the components work together. Too much reading to go fetch the links.
  • Better programming practices. Object Oriented Design was my primary weakness leaving college. I didn’t understand how to approach it. Now that I’m seeing some more practical examples of it and having to deal with them from birth to inception it’s a completely different world. The Php Object Generator is a great place to start.
  • Hubris is a bad thing. Specialization is a good thing. Find something you’re good at and do it better than anyone else. It’s better to specialize than be a “Jack of All Trades”. I’m perfect okay with saying I suck at cutting hair. I’m not going to claim I can, it’s acceptible to say that I can’t. If you aren’t doing what you specialize in, let other people who are better than you do it! This goes for programming, data warehousing, roofing, cooking, and everything else.

Aside from those three, I would say I’ve just gotten better through practice. Perfect practice makes perfect. While I don’t think I’ll ever be able to obtain perfection while having to work at a breakneck pace, but it’s nice to have a dream.


About andyhillky
I'm cool.

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