Business-focused custom software

  • 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 kind of emergency support do you need?

    When your software breaks, how quickly do you expect the programmer to respond to your request for assistance?

    Okay, that’s probably too broad. We both know that it depends on how broken it is.

    The software I build for my customers is an integral part of their business. It might be their money scoop. Or it might run their day-to-day operation. Regardless, if it isn’t working at all, it affects their bottom line pretty quickly.

    On the other hand, if it is minor bug that only affects a limited number of transactions, it probably isn’t an emergency.

    Assuming it is ...

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  • Your design will never be “perfect”

    I have unhappy news for you. Your design will never be perfect.

    This can be very frustrating to some people. (Probably perfectionist people like me.) They We will spend days/weeks/months agonizing over a design trying to make it perfect.

    But it can never be perfect. There will always be trade-offs. Some choices will make your app more maintainable. Others will make it perform better. Some choices will make your app easier to use. Others will make it easier to code.

    In one recent design meeting, we focused on a decision between ease of data retrieval and a more descriptive data ...

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What the critics are saying...

Avonelle is an incredibly talented software developer. She works fast, is economical, and offers great insights into the project at hand. She is also not afraid to speak up when she has concerns about a decision or approach. We’ve utilized her talents on many of our software development projects over the years.

Carrie Rocha, Chief Operating Officer @ HousingLink