Business-focused custom software

  • What everyone should know about bugs

    If you have never worked on a software development project before, you may be completely shocked during the first testing session. I guarantee that you will find a bug in the system within the first hour. In fact, you are likely to find something you didn't expect in the first 10 minutes.

    This may trigger a panic attack in you. I know exactly what you are thinking: What happened? Didn't the programmer test at all? Did we hire the wrong person? We are doomed!

    Calm down. Take a deep breath.

    Let me give you some information about software bugs that will help you ...

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  • How to tell if an estimate sucks

    Even if you aren't paying for custom software on an hourly basis, you probably still care about how long it will take for the programmer to complete the work. After all, you hire a programmer because you think custom software will add to your bottom line, either by saving you money or increasing your marketshare. So every day without your new software is costing you cash.

    Programmers are notorious for missing deadlines and taking longer than they promised. So if programmer says they will be done with your project by X date, how can you tell if they are just blowing smoke ...

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  • The Secret to Building a Crappy User Interface

    If you are like me, you have seen your share of really bad web applications. You have probably wondered "How could anyone design something this crappy?"

    I am going to tell you.

    The secret to designing a really awful user interface is to think like a geek and not like an end-user.

    That's it.

    I'll give you an example you will see on many e-commerce sites. Many of these sites don't let you enter a credit card number with dashes or spaces. Believe me when I tell you that there is no good reason why sites do this, and it makes it ...

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  • The Secret to Programming Methodologies

    When you talk to programmers, sometimes they will talk about methodologies. In fact, some programmers will go on and on and on about them. If you are hiring, they may tell you that they use “agile” practices or “waterfall”. As your eyes glaze over, you may correctly wonder “do I need to care?”

    The answer is: No.

    The question of methodologies can make a lot of programmers very religious. I’ve seen perfectly normal people get quite aggressive when they started talking about their chosen software development approach. Even the sales people for consulting firms can say quite pompously “We ...

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  • The Problem with Selecting the Lowest Bidder

    None of us wants to pay more than necessary for anything, including programming services. Sometimes the lowest bid is a great deal; sometimes it isn't. Here are some things to consider when comparing bids for software development:

    Compare apples to apples. Make sure the bids you are comparing are all fixed bids, and not hourly rates (even with an accompanying estimate.) Because estimates are not typically binding, and every developer works at a different speed, hourly rates are a more way to compare bids.

    What's included? Make sure you thoroughly understand what is included in each bid. Here are some things ...

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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