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  • Reason #534 to Not Bill Hourly

    Noted author Steve McConnell discusses the various studies that show huge variations (10:1 or more) in the productivity of different programmers with the same levels of experience. Many of us in the industry have experienced this first hand - watching the destruction of a project budget by an individual who burned hours at an alarming rate with little to show for it.

    But doesn't billing on an hourly basis just compound this problem? We are rewarding the individual who is least productive by paying him the most. It certainly gives the developer no incentive to work efficiently.

    Most clients haven't heard ...

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  • Keep it under control

    I'm often amazed at the number of developers who don't use source code control software. The arguments I've heard against it are lame and half hearted:

    Too expensive

    Other than some time to set it up and the disk space to set aside for it, there is no reason for it to cost anything at all. There are several source code control options that are open source or free. (Some examples include Subversion and CVS.) Personally, I use Sourcegear's Vault, which is free for a single user.

    Only large teams need source code control

    Even teams of one person can benefit ...

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  • What you should know about consultants

    Esther Schindler has written an excellent piece at CIO.com on things CIOs (and others) should know about working with consultants and contractors. I particularly liked this:

    Statements of work are necessary elements, particularly in project definition and negotiation. However, points out Terrence Gargiulo, president of MakingStories.net, statements of work should be treated as living, breathing, evolving documents that reflect a collaborative relationship between the consultant and client. Otherwise, he cautions, "Projects can too easily turn into an 'us versus them' dynamic in which no one wins."

    This is an important point. Both the consultant and the customer need to ...

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What the critics are saying...

From my experience with Avonelle, she can be relied on to deliver whatever she promises--always on time and for the quoted cost. She'll ask the right questions to make sure that what she delivers truly meets the business need. Her expertise has been invaluable. All that at a very reasonable rate!

Kim Merriman, Operations Manager @ HousingLink