Business-focused custom software

  • 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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  • The secret to picking the right technology for your application

    Recently a prospective client contacted me about upgrading her e-commerce site. She had been researching e-commerce options and had found one that she thought was a good fit. Unfortunately she was having trouble finding a local vendor who supported it because there are lots and lots of e-commerce choices and everyone has picked something different to support.

    My suggestion: stop focusing on the shopping cart or technology choice, and instead focus on the features that are important for the business. It is likely that there are many different choices that will meet her needs, and by settling on one without ...

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