Programming Itch

26 May

I’ve got the programming itch again… For years I’ve done development on and off mostly for personal use. I created my first official application for an academic medical center in Houston a couple of years ago. It cleaned up a pharmacy database inside the EMR and updated the entries with a third party catalog of pharmacies purchased from a marketing department in California. After doing this manually by hand I though there has got to be a better way to accomplish the same thing I was using Excel, Access, and Text files to do by hand so the first Pharmacy app was created. It imported Excel documents provided by the EMR database administrator and provided a cleaned up version for import back into the EMR. After speaking with the DBA he requested the application also export a SQL text file that he could simply update the Oracle database with. So with that my first point release was born! Version 1.1 made the DBA very happy and saved about another hour of his already busy day.

So I’m tasked with how I should scratch this programming itch I have and improve my programming skillsets. With so many options like VB, C#, C++, Ruby on Rails, Java, where is a lowly programmer to start? I have become in recent years an avid Linux user and have found good use for desktop and servers in my home, and as a result have adoped and been attracted to several open source software solutions so I thought I would look in this direction first.

My requirements would be something I could easily adopt to the web as well as something powerful enough to run scripts locally and be a cross platform. So I’ve settled on PHP. My content management system web sites (Joomla, WordPress) have all been PHP based and my wife’s upcoming e-commerce site Princess and the Peas is based on a PHP e-commerce platform so I thought if I were to create any enhancements this would be a good place to start developing. I may be using this site as a testing ground so I’ll be sure to post my progress.

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