Business-focused custom software

  • 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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  • Be a Technology Pragmatist

    I really enjoy helping a customer make good use of technology. This week I am writing code that processes street addresses. The code cleans excess spaces, and replaces words used in street addresses like "Avenue" and "North" with consistent abbreviations. The code will also validate the addresses, so that we aren't saving an address without a street name or zip code, etc.

    All this processing helps my customer to keep a clean address database, which will their mailings will be sent out with fewer problems. And since some of these addresses are published for others to use, it will mean fewer phone ...

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  • Thanks for not listening!

    I should have known better.

    I recently received an email from a government website that I have used for purchasing savings bonds for my nieces and nephews. I guess I should say I used it once. After that first time, I realized it wasn't worth the hassle.Let me tell you why:

    • Instead of using an user name that I could choose, it assigned me a 10 digit letter/number account #.
    • The password had to be quite lengthy and include both numbers and letters.
    • I can't type the password into the site. Instead, I have to use a virtual keyboard which ...

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What the critics are saying...

As someone with over 20 years of software development experience and currently a small business owner, it has been a pleasure working with Avonelle. In addition to being a talented developer, Avonelle also has database expertise and system design skills. Avonelle is open minded and willing to discuss various methodologies for achieving a project goal. She is also not afraid to ask questions which is vital in a software development project. Her up-front project cost (not estimate) is very helpful in budgeting for a project.

--Dwayne Wolterstorff, Owner @ Fair