Business-focused custom software

  • Avoiding Geek Overdrive

    Good developers love writing code. While this is a good thing, occasionally it can lead to solutions that have a high “geek” value but a low business value.

    Sometimes it is easy to identify this problem. I know of a simple invoicing application that was developed on a tight budget. Instead of focusing on the business value (making sure it created invoices properly), the developer focused on building a unique user interface for it. He didn’t like the Windows, and thought he could do better. Unfortunately, this approach had a high “geek value”, i.e. a COOL user interface, but had a very ...

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  • Connecting with Customers

    Two posts at the Contrarian Consulting blog really got my attention. One post describes a business owner who mistreats a potential customer in several different ways. The other post shows how a business owner was able to quickly turn a problem into a good impression.

    I think the moral is: responsiveness to customer questions and problems is critical. This is something I work hard at with my software consulting business. I try to respond to questions and problems in a timely manner, and I try to keep them in the loop when unexpected problems arise that could affect deadlines.  

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  • What you should know about consultants

    Esther Schindler has written an excellent piece at CIO.com on things CIOs (and others) should know about working with consultants and contractors. I particularly liked this:

    Statements of work are necessary elements, particularly in project definition and negotiation. However, points out Terrence Gargiulo, president of MakingStories.net, statements of work should be treated as living, breathing, evolving documents that reflect a collaborative relationship between the consultant and client. Otherwise, he cautions, "Projects can too easily turn into an 'us versus them' dynamic in which no one wins."

    This is an important point. Both the consultant and the customer need to ...

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  • Useful Statistics

    The Census Bureau has launched a new site to make it easier for businesses to find and use census statistics. [via the Business Opportunities Weblog]

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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