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  • How to protect yourself from the creeps (part 2)

    In part 1, I described some of the causes of software development scope creep.

    So now the $64,000 question is: what can we do to prevent scope creep?

    Unfortunately, there is no bulletproof, 100% guaranteed method of eliminating scope creep for your software project. That doesn’t mean that the requirements will definitely change, but it does mean that no one can promise you it won’t happen. (If they are promising that, they are selling you a bill of goods.) However, there are some things you can do to decrease the likelihood that creep will derail your project.

    Document requirements (and periodically ...

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  • How to protect yourself from the creeps (part 1)

    If you are involved in a programming project, sooner or later you will hear about creep – scope creep, that is. Typically, the conversation happens about half-way through the project, and it is an ugly feeling.

    You: It is important that the system include the [abc] functionality.

    Programmer: [ABC] feature wasn’t included in the proposal/requirements/design that you approved, so this is scope creep. Pay me more money for this feature.

    You (mumbling): Now I know who the creep is!

    This is a very common problem – more common than any of us would like to admit. And it can leave ...

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  • What can go wrong on my project?

    A lot. Believe me.

    No one wants to anticipate the worst. But actually thinking about what can go wrong can help you to better prepare for and prevent problems.

    Here are some of the common problems that happen on software development projects, and what you can do to prevent them.

    The estimate is wrong, and the project will take longer and/or cost more.

    This is the #1 problem that occurs on software development projects.
    What to do? Don’t panic. Evaluate the situation. Could this have been prevented? Is this a one-off, or indicative of a larger problem?
    How to prevent? The best ...

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  • Where are all the good programmers hiding?

    One of the biggest challenges in hiring a programmer (for a single project or as an employee) is finding them. If you are not technical, you don’t hang out in newsgroups where programmers chat about all things geek. So, where do you look?

    Use your network! Ask your friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances. Do they know a programmer who they have worked with in the past? Do they know someone who knows someone? Just like hiring a building contractor, referrals are the best way to find a programmer.

    Related to this, what about your LinkedIn profile? Even if you have only a ...

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  • If they don't care now, don't expect it to get better

    My friend was telling me about a programmer she used to work with. He was a junior developer, and he had been assigned the task of producing some reports. Reports are a very visible, important part of many applications, but often programmers find them dull. This programmer was no exception. He didn't spend time right aligning the numbers. Empty date values were showing as "01/01/01" instead of blank. Monetary values didn't include a currency symbol.

    When he was asked to fix these problems, he only did what was pointed out to him. He didn't take the time to review all of his reports ...

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What the critics are saying...

Avonelle is a talented expert in her field. She has blended well with our team and built applications that we are proud to deploy to our associates. Her talents helped us execute a vision expediently and with quality. If we could do it all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing.

Peter Edstrom @ Renewal by Andersen