Publication Date: 2/15/2010 8:38:17 AM
Whenever I’ve heard people talk about the importance of a single point of contact for communication between the developer and the “customer”, I’ve thought this was primarily to protect team members from unnecessary emails and meetings. But what I’ve come to realize is how important this is to project health generally, for a couple of reasons:
If only one person is giving the programmer feedback, they are less likely to get conflicting messages about how things should work.
Less communication about the communication
As a programmer on the outside of an organization, I often can’t tell who will ...
Publication Date: 1/10/2010 10:51:36 AM
One of the more frustrating aspects of being a programmer is that sometimes users encounter problems you never hear about. It isn’t anyone’s fault – I don’t always notify people when the software I use generates an error either. It takes time and effort, and I often think “they probably already know”.
But honestly, we don’t always know about the problems users encounter. Especially on smaller software projects with a limited number of developers and testers, we’re unlikely to test every single scenario. So the problem a user discovers may not be anything we tested for or have seen ourselves.......
Publication Date: 11/17/2009 4:20:16 PM
My new thermostat has a myriad of features, including a sensor that will tell me the outside temperature. The thermostat doesn’t use this information – it just reports it, with lots of information about the climate inside my house (temperature, humidity, etc.)
One problem: the outside sensor is in a spot that gets the full morning sun. This means that this morning, when the temperature was actually 30 degrees, my thermostat said it was 61. I have seen the reported outside temperature be off by more than 40 degrees!
There really isn’t a good alternative location for the sensor. They ...
Publication Date: 10/5/2009 8:56:33 AM
Software estimates can be tricky. One challenge is remembering what to include. When people put together their estimates, they usually focus on the features but often forget some critical pieces that aren’t functionality specific.
You might think that as a customer you don’t need to concern yourself with this. To a degree you are correct. But if your software roll-out has dependencies that make hitting target dates critical, you’ll want to feel confident that the estimates are accurate. Also, some developers who charge on an hourly basis can low-ball projects by providing estimates that exclude these tasks. It will be ...
Publication Date: 9/25/2009 8:19:44 AM
Unless you are a programmer, you probably don’t read Joel on Software since, well, he writes about software development. It is too bad, because he actually writes about the business of software development, and not complicated coding techniques.
This week he wrote about The Duct Tape Programmer. HIs post describes a type of programmer who isn’t fascinated by the most cool, complicated programming solution, and instead focuses on building applications and shipping software. He compares this programmer to architecture astronauts who have really great ideas about building software, but their ideas require people smarter than most of us.
I think ...
Top 5 Programmers to Avoid
What everyone should know about bugs
How to tell if an estimate sucks
The Secret to Building a Crappy User Interface
The Problem with Selecting the Lowest Bidder
5 Ways to Control Software Development Costs
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