with Ruby on Rails.
My first endeavor with Ruby on Rails, the road to ZebraTime began with a QuickBooks consultant inquiring of my friend Mike Raney about the possibility of making an online timesheet for her customers.
I was new to web applications but was interested in the timesheet project, partly because I had an employee and could use it for my business, and partly because I wanted to learn to write software for the web. Mike writes web apps in Java so he dove right in. While I thought Java would be easy to learn with my C++ background, I scanned the web for the latest and best in web development; it was not long before Rails won me over.
I was intrigued by the Ruby language, and immediately impressed with the amount of helpful information available on the web. I studied in earnest, applying what I learned to the timesheet app. We each worked hundreds of hours in our spare time. By the end of the year I had some grasp of what I was doing and each of us were at a similar point in development. And it was clear that Rails had made it easy for me to do things Mike had spent hours with in Java...
Because he's a good friend and a nice guy, Mike agreed to learn Rails and started working with me on the Rails version of the timesheet; in a few months we had the timesheet up and running on a server (see screenshot). After a two-year hiatus we are diving back into the project, to build our chops, and perhaps get more serious about a business plan.When working on the schema I thought I had a pretty good handle on 3NF database design; coming back to it now I see it needs a lot of work... We will be refactoring everything and building test suites.