Business-focused custom software

  • The issues are same

    When I worked for a consulting company, one of the challenges we faced was finding work that was compelling to our consultants. Most technical consultants enjoy a technical challenge, and are doing consulting work instead of working at a 9 to 5 company because they like the variety and technical challenges that are available when working for a consulting company. If you didn't keep your staff challenged, they were likely to leave for other opportunities. However, you are not selling services to geeks, but to business people who are just solving business problems.

    Today a friend of mine who owns ...

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  • How to work harder: Don't use an issue tracking system

    Tangled

    Here's a great way to make your software project more complicated: don't use an issue tracking system. Issue tracking systems provide users/testers a centralized location to identify system bugs, questions and requests.

    You may think that you can easily do this via email, and for very small efforts you are right. However, for most projects, tracking issues via email will quickly become a tangled mess of long threads that are impossible to effectively track.

    If you want to lose track of what issues are fixed vs. what is still outstanding, by all means you should skip using an issue tracking system. (Perhaps ...

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  • How to find a freelancer who sucks

    If you are non-technical, hiring a programmer can be a bit daunting. How can you evaluate their technical skills when you don't know an IP address from your elbow?

    Well, you can't actually. There is no way you can (on you own) evaluate someone else's technical expertise if you don't have any. Never fear, however. Instead, you can evaluate them on other criteria. Here are some ways of identifying someone who will do a crappy job of writing your software.

    Is their written correspondence riddled with typos? If they aren't careful when communicating with you, a potential client, believe me, they ...

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  • Tempting Fate with End-Users

    My brother and I took a rode trip a few weeks ago with my 3 year old nephew. He handled the 5 hours of round trip riding fairly well, with barely a complaint. On the trip back, my brother asked me to give him his coloring book and some crayons - he didn't want his son bored.

    Since my brother and I were sitting in the front, and my nephew was strapped into his car seat in the back, we weren't monitoring him closely. Big mistake.

    My brother glanced back and realized his son had been drawing all over the ...

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  • Are you fast?

    “How fast are you?”, a prospective client asked me this week.

    The question is interesting, because I think it articulates something that is often implied by customers, but rarely mentioned directly: Getting things done quickly is valuable.

    Software is typically not built just for its own sake. Instead, the objective is to either save money/time or make money. How quickly the software can be provided is an important consideration. The longer it takes to implement, the slower it is to realize the benefits. (And if the development costs are based on an hourly rate, then it can take even ...

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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