Business-focused custom software

  • 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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  • Top 5 Programmers to Avoid

    If you’ve ever worked with a programmer, you know that some programmers are smart, funny, and can make your project successful. Other programmers can ruin a project, making everyone's life miserable in the process. Here’s my list of the top 5 programmers to avoid like they have contracted a scary disease.

    Know-it-all Nancy

    Nancy has no interest in your input. In fact, Nancy will roll her eyes at you when you offer an opinion. Nancy thinks all her programs would work perfectly if it weren’t for the users.

    Jumpin’ Jack

    Jack jumps in and makes changes without considering the implications. ...

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  • Why You Need a Support Plan

    Just the other day I sent a proposal to one of my customers for ongoing support. I prefer to establish a flat-rate monthly support plan for my customers, which can be used for questions, troubleshooting, bug fixes, and emergencies. The flat rate arrangement is good for my customers, because they can budget for it appropriately. It is also nice for them, because they don't have to make an investment decision each time they call. ("Is this question worth getting charged?") I always prioritize my customers who have this kind of arrangement.

    This post by Lynette Chandler at Small Business Branding covers why you need a plan ...

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What the critics are saying...

Avonelle is a rare IT professional who can communicate with business users on a level they can understand, and who can recommend creative technical solutions that are in line with the business goals and the business budget. Avonelle is conscientious not only about meeting deadlines, but also exceeding her customers expectations around quality software while providing superior customer service. Avonelle is an inspiration to me.

Valerie Vogt, Director of IT Advisory Services @ Inetium