1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2016 2:46 PM by fmpdude

    How long did it take for you to become proficient?

    jamisonhill

      From zero knowledge with the FileMaker platform to a level of confident proficiency enough to bill a customer for your work, how long did it take to get there?

        • 1. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
          RickWhitelaw

          I would say give yourself a few years. There's much to learn before you can actually charge for your services. Of course if you have previous experience with relational databases the time would be shortened greatly.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
            philmodjunk

            It really depends on what prior knowledge you bring to the table. Have you worked with other database systems before? Had any education and/or experience with computer science or computer programming? Those aren't requirements for success but they do help you get up and running much more quickly.

             

            I, for example, had a BS in computer science and had just completed a night class in this strange tool called "hypercard" when I got my first Mac and FileMaker Pro came bundled with it. It took me one long night playing with it before I felt confident in my ability to accomplish things with it.

             

            But that was starting from a lot of prior knowledge that was very applicable to FileMaker and FileMaker Pro 2.5 was a vastly less powerful and simple tool to develop with back then.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
              alangodfrey

              And as you progress (because you will), you will move on to another inevitable question: "How do I know how proficient I am now?"  The obvious Acid Test is "Do your solutions work well?", but that's a bit of a cop-out.  Someone on this Forum (David Anders?) suggested a way to gauge your progress is to monitor:

              - How many questions on the forum do you understand?

              - How many answers do you understand?

              - How many questions could you have answered?

               

              I think it's a fair way to monitor how much you're learning.

              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                coherentkris

                Everyones path to confidence is different and the threshold of "ready to deliver to a customer" is also very personal.

                 

                What you will probably notice is that the solutions we were delivering in years 1 thru 3 are vastly different than those we deliver to customers in years 3 to 5.

                 

                I still generally think that the 10000 hour maxim to get to world class level is accurate but that is in debate.

                New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Rule - Business Insider

                That did not stop me from putting myself out there and getting work way before that milestone.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                  beverly

                  First, understand that knowing how to work "the app" and it's "programming environment" is not enough to bill a customer. There is a great deal to communication with the customer: 'needs assessments', 'current operation & how it can be leveraged or not', 'changes', 'future plans', etc. There is your ability to create the work flow outline out of all the assessments. There is your ability to understand usability and design. And more...

                   

                  Then and only then do you start building a database.

                   

                  Think about what you currently do in your work. Perhaps you already do these things. After that it's a matter of knowing the basics and how to find the answers for the rest.

                   

                  Give yourself a test and build something (even simple) for your usage.  Apply all the thought you would for a customer. See how much you need to learn.

                   

                  beverly

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                    fmpdude

                    I would agree. About five years.


                    Plus, as Phil said, if you come from computer science and, as I did, other languages, the way FMP does a lot of things are very counter intuitive -- though perfectly natural if you start with FMP as your first environment.

                     

                    Thanks to folks like Phil on the other forum, I was able to learn FMP by doing videos, reading FMP books, experimenting, and posting.

                     

                    Although you can jump in and start to do "stuff" right away, there is a lot to the product. And, FMP doesn't teach you things like how to write code, how to understand databases including creating ERDs, etc.

                     

                    My advice would be to take the Lynda.com FileMaker 15 course (or whatever version you have). Do the course. Lynda.com also has a course on creating FileMaker databases.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                      beverly

                      + I think I learned a lot (about FileMaker in the early years), by answering questions I didn't know. First I researched the answers (there is a lot more online now!) Then I made little test databases to check the answers. Then I posted. I considered it my education time.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                        PeterWindle

                        For me, proficiency and billing are two very different beasts...

                         

                        What determines a developers true value? Supply and demand is one component and an important one. Returned value to the end users is another important one. I have tried many times to made very clever code, only to realise that users don't care about that, they just care about getting the job done. It must be done in a timely fashion and is must not COST them time fixing your stuff ups.

                         

                        If you can manage to find customers that value your services and you bring them value and with little or no disruption, then you're ready to bill.

                         

                        As for proficiency, it's a never ending process.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                          jamisonhill

                          Thank you to each of you for your replies.  You've given me the the answers and wisdom I was looking for.

                           

                          I have plenty of schooling in the areas of networking and basic programming.  I've also done quite a bit of website coding, and have a solid background in customer service as a Mac Genius at the Apple Store for 6 years.  I've just recently been given the okay from Human Resources to start development with FileMaker which had previously been a conflict of interest due to FileMaker being related to Apple, so I want to use this opportunity to become a developer.  I'm not in a big hurry to be an expert, but if FileMaker developer can be achieved quicker than the 3+ years of additional schooling that I'd need to get a CS degree, then I would much rather pursue FileMaker because I already know it's a tool I can present to customers with confidence.

                          • 10. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                            beverly

                            You may wish to mark this "question" as "presumed answered" since there are so many good comments!

                            It sounds like you are well on your way with your previous exeriences. Welcome to the community!

                            • 11. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                              FileKraft

                              since not yet mentioned: get FileMaker certified ..

                               

                              if you pass at least 2 tests you have the  minimum requirements thinking to turn professional.

                              (there were always 2 tests offered)

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                                Johan Hedman

                                Reading FileMaker Training Series Basic and Advanced gives your a great start

                                FileMaker Training Series | FileMaker

                                 

                                Then you need the experience of solving problems with all the tools that FileMaker gives you.

                                Depending on if you like to make your own product out of FileMaker or help others you need different plans, but if you really push hard you can be up and running within a year

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                                  richardsrussell

                                  Just to add a different perspective, I spent 3 years at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction doing a job for which FileMaker Pro was an incidental tool. But I liked it enuf that I moved over to the Wisconsin Alumni Association where I could do it full time. I put in 2 years there before retiring (back in 2000), and since then I've been quite active doing FMP database development pro bono for a variety of non-profit organizations and small family-owned businesses that couldn't conceivably afford my services if I were charging market rates.

                                   

                                  They all seem happy with the work I do for them, but I'll confess that I read some of the comments on this forum — especially the ones dealing with FM Server issues, networking problems, and FileMaker Go considerations — and realize that I'd be exaggerating if, even after 20+ years, I were to hold myself out as "proficient". Nonetheless, if you're good enuf at what people want done, and are willing to learn more if and when necessary, you're hirable.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: How long did it take for you to become proficient?
                                    jamisonhill

                                    Get certified.

                                    Learn to ask the right questions.

                                    Verify that you can answer tough questions.

                                    Give it enough time, 1-5 years.

                                    Develop constantly, and bill for what you can.  Proficiency comes with experience.  More experience produces better results. 

                                     

                                    All wonderful answers.  Thank you to the community. 

                                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                    1 2 Previous Next