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Roadblocks of the Non-coders

Topic closed. 11 replies. Last post 9 years ago by GASMETERGUY.

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time*treat's avatar - radar

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Posted: October 27, 2007, 11:58 pm - IP Logged

Some people have been expressing frustration that they can’t find someone to code their systems for them. As someone who writes my own, as well as creating the occasional macro for others, I figured I’d point out some things that may be holding you back. Bang Head Mostly, it's you. I will ignore that most people want this done for free. Instead, I’ll just focus on the work itself. What I’m about to lay out is more critical in lotto games, because you’re trying to narrow hundreds of thousands (or millions) of combinations down to a playable set.

  • If it’s just a short snippet you need, that’s fine. But, remember, you’ve got to provide details about where the input & output data go, on the sheet. Some act like we’re looking over your shoulder.
  • If it’s something more elaborate, think it out. Clearly. Then write it down. Then edit it. The program needs to know step-by-step what to do. So does the person writing the code. Step-by-step is how the winner(s) will be separated from the other numbers. Objective, measurable criteria. Some people have a step that essentially says “… and then a miracle Blue Angel happens”
  • Finalize the blueprint before construction begins. Someone will ask for code that does A, B, & C. Then (after it’s finished) they decide that it should also do D, E, & F, while telling you that the output of A, B, & C are in the" wrong" (unspecified) columns/rows. Cussing Face
  • Be realistic. If the winning combo is {1,5,16,23,34} and you have {1,6,15,24,33}, your system DID NOT almost win. You are LAME to claim this. Unless you have a “transpose numbers at random” section in your system, the only thing you have won is the BSchock-full-of-scheisse award; don’t act like it is some moral failing on our part for not being able to code something you can only describe after the drawing.

To recap: Be Detailed. Be Clear. Be Complete. Be Realistic. 
Then ... be quiet; coders have got work to do. Cool

In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
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    Posted: October 28, 2007, 12:11 am - IP Logged

    I feel your pain.  As a consultant by trade, I have lived through these scenarios countless times.

    One thing you can do (as the programmer) to reduce the number of problems later is to deliver a restatement of the requirements back to the player before any coding occurs.  It would include each of the items you mentioned: input/output, processes (and sequence), layout/design, etc. 

    Basically you're building consensus with the player on what it will be like when it's finished.  If the player gets buyer's remorse later, you have something they agreed to that you can point back to.  Likewise, the player benefits because they can make sure everything you agreed to program is indeed in there.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
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      Posted: October 29, 2007, 10:29 am - IP Logged

      "Some people have been expressing frustration that they can’t find someone to code their systems for them. As someone who writes my own, as well as creating the occasional macro for others, I figured I’d point out some things that may be holding you back. Bang Head Mostly, it's you."

       

      If a person has a working system that produces results even if it's only with paper and pencil then he has something he can explain to others, otherwise he only has a thought, an idea or a dream. 

      No one is interested in wasting their time making someone else's thoughts, ideas and dreams a reality when they have their own to work with.

       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
         
                   Evil Looking       

        time*treat's avatar - radar

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        Posted: October 29, 2007, 6:16 pm - IP Logged

        Heh, the ones that can explain it don't have the trouble. Sometimes you can even learn a new trick when you do a little work with them. No complaints, there. I take issue with the ones who think you're supposed to be Ms. Cleo.

        Heck, even Ms. Cleo ain't Ms. Cleo. Jester

        In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
        Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

          LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
          Tx
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          Posted: October 29, 2007, 8:01 pm - IP Logged

          I have helped do some software, but any problems were not on my side, the programmers had trouble doing some of the coding, most of the trouble with such programs was with the programmers wanted to do their own things, instead of what there were asked to do, so the programs ended up being only so so or half good and very unfinished, but finished enough for the programmers, then they complain that they can't win with them, if they would follow thru and complete the work as needed and as asked maybe such programs could have been made with semi or with automatic prediction, they give up too soon and quit.

          Their loss, I don't get the program(s), but neither do they.

          And no, I am not asking for a workout or a program to be made, I am only pointing out those things.

            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
            mid-Ohio
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            Posted: October 30, 2007, 9:54 am - IP Logged

            When you contract with a anyone to code a program, you should check to make sure they have the skills and knowledge to do what you want.  There are lots of people who program as a hobby like myself and while their skills may be good enough for their personal need, they are not professional programmers and they may not have the skills or the time to give your project the attention you think it deserves. 

             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
               
                         Evil Looking       

              time*treat's avatar - radar

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              Posted: November 9, 2007, 9:36 am - IP Logged

              RJOh makes a great point about time & skill.

                 

              Back when I joined here, I had been kicking around the idea of a general purpose lotto program. I learned 2 things after reading some of the active threads of that time.

              First, there were many previously written systems and their creators seemed to be pulled between one group who needed support for the current version, and another group clamoring for the next upgrade. That was not a pleasant prospect. Disapprove

                 

              Second, looking at some of their work and doing my early layouts, I was devoting much more effort to the interface than to the “numbers engine”. Also, not where I wanted to be. Dead That was enough for me to drop VB as a developing platform and stick with XL.

              When I post code, now, I don’t have to worry about the interface or the idiot-proofing (someone’ll just come along with a new-and-improved idiotClown, anyway). I just try to make it clear enough to where someone can see what variables they may need to change/rename for a proper “fit” to whatever they already have. An extra benefit of this is that someone who already has something in the works (and a bit of coding skill, too) has more than a vague notion of what they need.Cool

              In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
              Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

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                middle Georgia
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                Posted: November 9, 2007, 10:13 am - IP Logged

                Heh, the ones that can explain it don't have the trouble. Sometimes you can even learn a new trick when you do a little work with them. No complaints, there. I take issue with the ones who think you're supposed to be Ms. Cleo.

                Heck, even Ms. Cleo ain't Ms. Cleo. Jester

                Hey time*treat,

                Thanks for the laugh!   I needed that.  Green laugh

                maggie

                P.S.  This  is my second try.......hope it works. 

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                  NASHVILLE, TENN
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                  Posted: November 17, 2007, 12:22 pm - IP Logged

                  I am like RJOH in that I do my own programming for my own needs.  I am not a professional. 

                  Someone needs to come out with a book called "VBA for Lotto Players".  He/she could just give the building blocks for creating a simple program.  They could even use their blog page for this.  Or, if they want to make money, sell the book to those of us who wish to do our own programming.

                  Heck, if no one else steps forward, I just might do this myself even tho I am the very last person who should be teaching VBA.

                    LottoMining's avatar - lightbulb
                    California
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                    Posted: November 18, 2007, 9:00 am - IP Logged

                    Greetings,

                    Although I am a new member here, I have been programming in Excel and Access (DAO /ADO) as a part time excuse to be a better professional for years.  I have built a number of spreadsheets, database tables, and functions for 5 draw lotto games (California’s Fantasy 5) and it is safe to say I have a lot of code written in both apps.  I’d be willing to give out those building blocks, and do a bit of descriptive writing (blogging) for it since I wrote it over 7 years, off and on, but never catalogued it.  I could only write once a week or so since I have a day job, a commute, etc., and I’m working on ASP.NET and SQL Server 2005 to “keep current”.  On the idea of money, I’d only consider it at the end after I had given out a bunch of code and context, then folks could decide that.  Or, if someone wanted to hire me for a more large-scale project then that wouldn’t be free.  I’d be willing to bet that most folks are using Excel since it is quicker at prototyping, and there might not be that many DB builders.

                     

                    What kinds of functions/building blocks would you like info on?  Or, how much interest is out there from other builders / researchers / programmers? 

                      time*treat's avatar - radar

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                      Posted: November 18, 2007, 9:31 am - IP Logged

                      If you post that offer in the pick 3 forum, you'll get more requests than you know what to do with.ROFL

                      In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                      Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

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                        NASHVILLE, TENN
                        United States
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                        February 20, 2006
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                        Posted: November 18, 2007, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

                        Greetings,

                        Although I am a new member here, I have been programming in Excel and Access (DAO /ADO) as a part time excuse to be a better professional for years.  I have built a number of spreadsheets, database tables, and functions for 5 draw lotto games (California’s Fantasy 5) and it is safe to say I have a lot of code written in both apps.  I’d be willing to give out those building blocks, and do a bit of descriptive writing (blogging) for it since I wrote it over 7 years, off and on, but never catalogued it.  I could only write once a week or so since I have a day job, a commute, etc., and I’m working on ASP.NET and SQL Server 2005 to “keep current”.  On the idea of money, I’d only consider it at the end after I had given out a bunch of code and context, then folks could decide that.  Or, if someone wanted to hire me for a more large-scale project then that wouldn’t be free.  I’d be willing to bet that most folks are using Excel since it is quicker at prototyping, and there might not be that many DB builders.

                         

                        What kinds of functions/building blocks would you like info on?  Or, how much interest is out there from other builders / researchers / programmers? 

                             I feel you had better settle for the descriptive blogging and you can start anytime you are ready.  As for writing programs for lotto players, you will be opening up a can of worms.  There are a few people out there (mostly at Waffle House ) that want you to write a program in which all they do is click on a button and the next winning number appears.  If you can't do that, then you are cheating them.  (OK, so I'm over-simplying.  Sue me!)