Business-focused custom software

  • Talk to me!

    Sometimes it is hard for a customer to know what to communicate with a freelance software developer. This isn't really surprising - it can often seem like the developer needs to only know WHAT the decision is, and not HOW the decision was arrived at (or WHY). Unfortunately, leaving the developer out of the loop is too bad, because they may be able to help you to better achieve your goals.

    One of my customers made a design decision this week based on how google analytics will gather data. Their decision isn't necessarily wrong, but certainly this determination is ...

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  • The Right Stuff

    Imagine interviewing a potential builder to construct your new three bedroom rambler. When you ask him about his previous experience, he explains that for the last ten years he has been involved in building office skyscrapers, and has never built a residential home. Would you still consider him for the job?

    Software development experience is similar. All developers have a wide variety of experience, and not all of it will be applicable to your job. The task of creating an operating system is very different from creating an application like Microsoft Word, and that task is different from creating a marketing website. While you are unlikely ...

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  • Who needs custom software?

    Answer: Not everyone. In many cases, off the shelf software will serve your basic business needs. However, there are several situations where custom software is worth considering - here are a few:

    1) Devilish Duplication. Do your employees enter the same data into multiple systems? Perhaps you use one application for capturing orders, and another for tracking inventory. Custom software could give you a way to move the data from one system into the other so that your employees don't spend their days moving files between "drawers".

    2) Spread the work around. Do your employees input data provided by your customers? ...

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  • 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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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