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Fragmented Development

The Gauntlet

The Project: Bring the Warren County Tourism web site in-house, taking control from a vendor that was payed $1 million last year for that and other tourism-related work.

The Site: In existence for the better part of seven years, it has passed from vendor to vendor. The initial vendor coded using ColdFusion and CFML, and their stuff was written for ColdFusion 4. The newest guys have been coding in PHP, and somewhere someone tossed in some ASP.NET. It's database driven, uses Flash, and the source for the page weighs in at 400 MB. That's without the database of content, too. The table listing for the database is two pages long.

Time frame: Six weeks, starting last Monday.

Can we do it? As the only web developer at Warren County, I'm a little bit worried to say the least. I've got one of our programmers helping me out with database and project details, and my department head is keeping the bureaucratic bullshit off of our backs, making sure we can do our jobs. We may be hiring consultants, we may be buying servers. I may be buying stock in Pepsi Co. and Mountain Dew, just because I believe I will be investing quite a bit in their product soon.

But I think we can do it. At least get it working, at the very least.

Can we do it by December 31st, when the contract runs out with the old guys, and the switchover happens whether we're ready or not? Well, I don't think it matters what I think there. It's gonna happen one way or another, even if I have to sit myself in front of a terminal and write the HTTP response headers myself. Come January 1st, 2007, you're going to be able to open the tourism page without any problem. The question is, how much of Christmas will I be around to enjoy? :-)

Tags: general

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