Business-focused custom software

  • Ask the Programmer: The Extravagant Programmer

    question-mark_resized Ask the programmer is feature designed to answer questions from non-geeks about hiring and working with programmers. If you have a question, please email me at avonelle@lovhaug.com.

    Question: I recently hired a programmer to build custom applications and reports. He is asking me to spend lots of money on a new computer and software. My company isn’t giant – I don’t have lots of spare dollars to spend. But I am willing to fork out some dough if it will help him work faster. How can I tell if these requests are legitimate or a spending spree?

    Answer:......

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  • 3 Programmer Super Powers that Can Rescue Your Project

    Superhero When you are sponsoring a custom software development project, a lot of things can go wrong. And they will. You may not need super human strength, but there are certainly programmer super powers that will help to save your project from death and destruction.

    Laser vision

    Some programmers can be easily distracted by cool, shiny technical “stuff”. The developer with laser vision can focus on the task at hand and the ultimate objective: completing the project. Laser vision can also help them to see and anticipate what’s coming because it can see through obstacles.

    Nerves of steel

    There are ...

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  • Software project lessons from 2001: A Space Odyssey (and 2010)

    HAL "It can only be attributable to human error." --HAL, in 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Sweet, lovable HAL. It is hard not to love HAL with his serene voice and impeccable logic. Still, when he became homicidal we were all glad we weren't stuck on a spaceship with him. But after seeing the movie recently it occurred to me that there are a number of lessons we can learn from HAL and his two movies that apply to software development projects.

    Conflicting objectives are bad. Very bad.

    HAL's fellow Discovery crew mates found out the hard way that conflicting objectives can ...

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  • Why you should reveal your budget

    One of the questions on my new client questionnaire is "What is your budget for this project?" Sometimes buyers are uncomfortable sharing their budget amount. Usually they are concerned that the price quoted by the vendor will be inflated to fit their budget, but there might be other reasons (like they honestly don't know yet.)

    I won't say that price inflation doesn't happen. But there are legitimate reasons why you should disclose your budget amount to the vendor:

    Are you a fit for them? It allows the vendor to decide if you might be a good fit for their services. ...

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  • How to select a support vendor

    Before you select a vendor to provide on-going support for your custom software, consider these items:

    Availability. Many customers only require support during regular business hours, but some require more robust support. If your business needs to provide services outside a traditional 9 -to-5 workday, then make sure that your vendor will provide the same level of support.

    Response time. How quickly will the vendor respond to requests (especially emergency requests)? No vendor can guarantee with 100% certainty that they will provide a fix or solution within a small timeframe, but they can guarantee that they will start investigating the ...

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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