Business-focused custom software

  • The Power of One - Top 5 Reasons to Use a Freelancer

    Some companies have never worked with a freelance software developer before. Here are the top five reasons for working with a freelancer instead of a firm:

    1) Direct communication. When you work with a freelancer, you get to talk to the actual person doing the work, not some sales drone or project manager. This means it is more likely your needs will get heard.

    2) Lower overhead. An organization has to pay for office space, sales people, human resources, and a host of other costs that don't apply to a freelance consultant. This usually means that an independent consultant is ...

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  • Unacceptable Risks

    It is surprising to see what some people consider to be acceptable risks.

    Sometimes there are logical reasons for the discrepancy between what might be an acceptable risk but not in others. For example, the dangers associated with rock climbing (injury and death) make it an unacceptably risky activity for me. But for others, the benefits (enjoyment and exercise) outweight the risks. And of course, experienced climbers know how to mitigate the risks.

    Software development has many risks. Often those who sponsor development projects don't adequately understand those risks. One of the principle risks that is not considered is the ...

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  • Stick to what you know

    News stories about software development projects gone bad are published regularly. One such story is this recent article about the Minneapolis convention bureau "Meet Minneapolis", who decided to develop and sell software. The bureau, which gets most of its money from the city, asked for a $2.5 million loan from the city to develop and market software for managing convention sales accounts, hotel vacancies, amd convention registrations. As of now the loan is up to $9.1 million, still without showing a profit.

    Of course, hindsite is always 20-20. Still, it is apparent to me that several factors known at the ...

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  • 5 Ways to Control Software Development Costs

    Here are some tips for keeping software development costs under control:

    1) Don't try to do everything.

    This is a common problem for people who are new to custom software development. It is easy to think that it is better to just add that "one more feature" rather than wait until later. However, it is better to weigh each feature carefully, and leave some thinks to do for version 2.

    2) Don't try to solve all the edge cases.

    Related to the first tip, this is an easy trap to fall into. Most business processes are more complicated than ...

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  • The dangers of indecision

    Software development (like most business processes) is dependent on decision making. If people are unable to make decisions when they work with programmers, the process cannot move forward and the result software will not be built.

    This seems obvious, but sometimes people forget this. They get frustrated when the project is behind schedule, forgetting that the software developer cannot always proceed until decisions are made. Otherwise, if they guess incorrectly, they invite the "opportunity" to re-write the code.

    Something I try to do is anticipate the decisions that will need to be made. That way, if I can get ...

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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