View Full Version : Retail store systems

12-08-2011, 01:12 PM
Through a friend I've been asked to come into a retail store to check out their system. Apparently the current IT guy is useless and has to be constantly called in to "fix" it. Problem is, all I know about retail systems is it's going to be some sort of database with a GUI front-end. I only have a small amount of experience with SQL and C#/Java (I mainly program in C++ and I'm self taught, so I'm confident I can pick stuff up quick). My friend isn't technically inclined so I don't know what they are using yet besides that it is a membership system with automatic emails, EFTPOS/card-reader. They only have around 4 outlets. Could anyone experienced in this field give me some tips? Good preexisting software? best to develop a custom system? I know this isn't very specific but I want to go in as prepared as possible because I could really use this.

12-08-2011, 02:11 PM
my advice...
if it is anything to do w/ their code- do not touch it.

if you break it you bought it

that term is so dominating in the contracting/consulting world (which you are essentially doing @ no charge)... regardless without official documentation and legal who-sa-ma-whats you are throwing your self @ their mercy if anything breaks... also there is the possibility that in breaking it you REALLY break it... so I would avoid that and not touch it (thus eliminating any need for code knowledge)

As for their "IT" guy not knowing anything... If he is really an "IT" guy most likley he knows nothing-to-very little about any code (I am not trying to insult or start an argument; it is just experience of myself and countless other contractors that I've worked with that IT knows nothing about code)... that is why they do IT. IT is completely different than code and really the only time "IT" people do any software (ie code) work is when they are configuring machines and messing w/ config files...

Don't confuse an "IT Guy" job with the "IT" world... yes the "IT" both stand for the same thing (information technology) but in most cases the IT guy is not going to know all faucets of the IT world... (Most people don't know every in-out bc there is too much to know- and for those that would argue it consider that EE is also part of IT world, as is a lot of aspects of ME, and Chemical Engineering, and the list explodes from there)...

Anyways to finalize a long answer... If you are going over to verify network connections and machine operations and things like that (IT guy job) then have at it... if they ask you to make changes to their code run away screaming and whatever you do don't touch it.