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How long to know ColdFusion well enough to make a MySpace/Youtube clone.

Posted on 2007-07-31
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Assuming no prior programming experience, and assuming that the person is reasonably apt, how long do you think it would take for someone to learn enough about coldfusion to make something similar to youtube or myspace? That doesn't include the codinng time, I'm primarily interested in the time it will take to get to a point where you're capable of making something of that sort

Thanks :)
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Question by:Qosis
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by:Scott Bennett
ID: 19605271
I would say (asuming a natural aptitude towards programming) at least a year of really intense real world experience, maybe 2 before your ready to fully understand what you need to do. and then another two to three years to develop it and work all the bugs out. that's for something exactly like myspace today. If you are a complete genious (IQ over 140) then maybe you could do it a little faster, and if you just to "something like myspace" but not quite as robust and secure you could shave a bit of time off, but there are a LOT of minute things involved with programming an application that big and that heavily trafficed that you wouldn't have to consider until your traffic waranted it.
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by:Scott Bennett
ID: 19605293
If you just want something similar (not an exact replica of myspace/you tube), I have built a couple small social networking types of sites in a matter of 3-6 months but I have over 7 years of advanced coldfusion experience.
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Author Comment

by:Qosis
ID: 19605298
I guess I should have clarified, what about something like MySpace was at release? I'm sure by now with a half billion sale they have ea lot more developers and have added features that are necessary at this stage. But I'm more curious abotu what it would be like to create something like MySpace and YouTube at release.

Thanks for your feedback :)
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by:Qosis
ID: 19605320
Ahh, that second reply was very helpful. I guess I'm taken aback by the steep learning curve you've outlined. I had planned to study Ben Forta's "Web application construction kit" then go to his more advanced book. I guess I'm curious about how the one to two year timeline breaks down.

I'm not refuting the accuracy of what you say, you obviously know much more about this than I do. :) I'm just curious about what's responsible for that time frame.
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by:Billy_Nasty
ID: 19607027
I would also say 5 years of experience in coldfusion an then to set this project up i think 2 years will do the trick. the newer the version of coldfusion maybe the easyer it will be, like flash video etc. is now more supported than a few versions ago. if you wait a while till version 8 is out and learn cf on that bases you will learn faster and don't need much workarounds for some problems we had in an few versions ago.

but projects like that are never finished so...
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Author Comment

by:Qosis
ID: 19609238
Five years of experience? Really?
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by:Scott Bennett
ID: 19609817
If your a smart guy you can learn the basics of coldfusion in a few months by reading the Ben Forta books and doing all the examples. But it's real world experience that is going to teach you how to develop a good application. You could probably read the books and then just start right into your social networking site project but you will find that you don't even really know where to begin. You will not yet know enough about to effectively plan our your application and it will end up being something really lame in the end. You will probably build it over again a couple times until you get closer to a production worthy application. I am saying if you are a really smart guy you would need a year or two of real world experience becase that is just  how long it will take to become a competant developer. There are so many factors like troubleshooting skills, development framework strategies, database design capabilities that can't be tought by a book, but come with real world experience and guidance from senior developers.
To put it in perspective, you can go to home depot and get a book that teaches you how to build a tree house. Then you might be able to build a really nice tree house. But if you turn around and decide based on that information you read in your treehouse book and the really cool tree house you built, that you are now capable of building a real house. once you get started you will find that you don't know the first thing about laying a foundation or all the building codes that the city requires you to follow when designing the architecture of your house, and so on and so forth.
Hopefully that helps
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Author Comment

by:Qosis
ID: 19609864
Thanks a lot for the feedback SBennett. For someone who isn't doing this for a living, and who plans to self learn, is there any way to get real world experience? I was planning on doing much smaller projects to begin with, and slowly building up from there.
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Scott Bennett earned 2000 total points
ID: 19610309
At the beginning you will find it difficult to find anyone that will want to work with you. Since this seems to be more of a side job, I suggest you learn coldfusion, and then build a an application on your own. You can get coldfusion hosting server for pretty cheap, just build yourself a website using common types of functionalities and maybe focus on things you would need in a social networking site (your own little myspace page if you will).  I would build the following things and in this order on your site:

1. Create a basic blogg.
2. add a photo/video gallery
3. Add the ability for your friends to leave comments on your blogg entries.
4. add a subscribe functionality so your friends can get automatic emails when you make a blogg entry
5. Built the whole thing over again but this time design it so your friends can have their own blogg pages too with all the same functionality as above.
6. add a subscribe form so that other people can sign up on your site and make their own profiles like your friends have, then ask your friends to have their other friends sign up and create a profile and give you feed back on the site.
7. Add a search functionality so that people who have a profile can look for other users and add them to their favorites/friends/buddy list.
8. Give users the ability to customize the color scheme of their page.

The really important part if you want to really learn, is that you don't buy already built plug-ins but you build all the functionalities yourself so you get the experience.

When youre done with this, you will have a really lame social networking site. You will then probably want to build the whole thing over again and do it better, and add more cool features.

If you need advice along the way then Experts-exchange is a great place to get it. In fact if you really wan to learn a lot fast, you should read the questions people post here and then try to find the answers to peoples questions on your own.  Then compare the answers you find to what the experts are posting to see if you are right. You can find most of the answeres to questions here if you are simply competant at finding things on google, and are familiar with the coldfusion documentation:

http://livedocs.adobe.com/coldfusion/7/htmldocs/00000195.htm#2501150

A good portion of the questions that arise have been asked many many times and after a while you will find yourself answering those questions without the need to look them up.
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Author Comment

by:Qosis
ID: 19610455
Thanks SBennett, that's a very helpful response. I'll definitely give that a shot.
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by:Scott Bennett
ID: 19610500
Your welcome,

Here's a decent hosting provider that you can get a basic hosting plan from for $19.95/month

http://www.cfdynamics.com/sharedhosting/sharedhosting.cfm
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