Business-focused custom software

  • Too much flexibility can be dangerous

    One of my customers LOVES to ask for configuration options. Often when I ask “do you want that implemented as “a” or “b” he will reply “can you make it something we can change later?” It isn’t that he wants to make my job harder (although sometimes it feels that way.) The problem is that he understands their environment, and he knows change is likely.

    But making everything “flexible” adds cost, not only in initial development, but also in testing and maintenance. It can even be dangerous. When options are infrequently used, it is easy to forget how they work. This ...

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  • Want better results from your programmer? Communicate your goals.

    The best developers are consultative. They can work with you to help you achieve the best results for your business.

    But you probably wont’ attract the best developers or get the best results if your interactions with them inhibit feedback. For example:

    • Do you provide your programmer with a laundry list of to-do items? Or do you communicate your objectives?
    • Is everything a “priority” to you? Or can you quickly identify the things that are truly the most important?
    • Do you shut down all ideas that didn’t come from you? Or do you express an interest in hearing the programmer’s ...

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  • How much of a difference does hiring the RIGHT person make?

    Not sure it's worth the added time and effort to make sure you are hiring the right programmer? Here's an example of why the time is worth it:

    A client hires a new consultant. They have a database with about 4 million records, and then need help exporting some of the data to Excel. The previous consultant used a query that grabbed ALL of the columns, so the file was quite large. The new consultant asked if they really needed all that data. Guess what? They only needed 5 columns, so the new file was about 20% of the size!......

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  • Random changes <> debugging

    One of the more colorful characters I've worked with over the years was a woman I'll call Ashly. Ashly was a programmer employed by my former employer, and had made the transition from an older technology to classic ASP, which at the time was the cool new thing.

    Occasionally she would ask for my help with something. And each time I was astonished because her difficulties always demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of the technology. She was functional, but for the most part illiterate in her coding skills.

    Here's an example: Ashly once came to me confused because her classic ASP ...

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  • Five reasons why my customers are awesome

    I know, I know. Sounds like I'm just trying to suck up, doesn't it?

    Well, just a tiny bit.

    But I do have awesome customers. In fact, there are actually more reasons than 5. But here are the top 5 reasons why I love my customers and think they are the bomb:

    They ask questions. I'm not talking about "when will this be done" types of questions, although they ask that too. They ask questions about why things work the way they do. They want to understand. They are intellectually curious.

    They share their ideas. Some people may find this ...

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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