Hi, after developing URLYBIRD for two weeks now, I'm a bit surprised to find out how big the assingment it. Yep, I do agree that it should not be too easy either. I have a long history with Java and I'm a professional j2ee developer. I've developed large apps with happy customers. My main skills are not in client-server and I have zero knowledge of Swing which is causing the grief. So ... I'd expect that I would have delivered the assignment in a week or two but I'm still stuggling with the code. If it takes some weeks of a pro, there must be some who has been developing the code for a long time ... or then I'm just plain stupid.
You do a lot more when you develop desktop application. MVC framework, application navigation, screen layout, persistent, threading... These are provided for you when you develop j2ee applications. Took me 3 weeks to code and unit test.
I purchased (or rather had my employer purchase ) the assignment in July 2005. I sent in my submission yesterday (though it was finished last summer, except for the documentation and end user testing). So it took me (not full time, maybe an hour or so a day on average) about a year to code.
It took me nearly 2 years to finally complete the project and I submitted it last week. Made great progress for the first two months but then I started a masters so it got shelved for the best part of 15 months. I picked it up again a few months ago and made a determined effort to finally get around to submitting the code. The hardest part is maintaining the motivation that you have starting out on the project.
I would say that it probably actually took about 4-5 months at one or two hours a day altogether, if you subtract the time it was gathering dust on my hard drive, this was as a college graduate with fairly good java knowledge, but no knowledge of Swing or RMI before I started.