Business-focused custom software

  • Can you leave your application on legacy technology? A cautionary tale

    Legacy technology is always a tricky question. Constantly re-writing applications so that they are using the latest and greatest technology/framework/etc. seems unrealistic as this can be quite expensive, with little perceived value for customers and end-users if there are no new features. On the other hand, technology often has a shelf life; over time it may not work on newer operating systems or with other services that do get updated.

    Here’s an example: an application written in VB6 that has been running for almost 25 years! In addition, it is running on Windows XP and using SQL Server 2000. It ...

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  • Trust and Efficiency–Yes, that is the point

    This piece on charging hourly for programming services really nails it, I think. Programmers often get bogged down in fears that they will not be paid fairly unless they get to charge by the hour for everything. But there isn’t any financial incentive to minimize bugs when you are charging extra for them. And you are communicating something to a customer when you use this approach, and it isn’t that you are a seasoned professional who has confidence in their work. You are telling them: I intend to squeeze every last dollar out of you.

    When I build software for ...

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  • Is getting "ripped off" by a programmer likely?

    This article at offers tips to avoid getting "ripped off" by a freelance developer. While I find the term "ripped off" offensive, I think it is certainly true that it is possible to hire someone who does not fulfill their obligations to you as a customer. But is this likely?

    If you are new to hiring a programmer and have little programming experience, it is definitely a possibility that the project will go badly. Some of that may be the programmer's fault - they may not listen carefully enough to your requirements or they may make poor implementation decisions. ...

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  • Software Maintenance is the Most Important Phase

    It is easy to assume that the most important phase of a software development application's life cycle is the beginning, when the initial development takes place. That's when the technology and architecture for an application is established, so it seems like it would be important. But is it?

    I'm reading Adam Tornhill's book Your Code as a Crime Scene: Use Forensic Techniques to Arrest Defects, Bottlenecks, and Bad Design in Your Programs. Early on, he refers to Robert Glass and his book Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering. Glass argues that maintenance is the most important phase in ...

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  • Good programmers don’t all look alike

    A lot of people think that the best programmers have the same attributes, like…

    • They keep odd hours, working well into the early morning hours.
    • They use a lot of fancy programming words even when they are speaking to non-programmers.
    • They eat nothing but pizza.

    You get the idea.

    But we need to get away from these stereotypes. I propose a different set of attributes:

    • They deliver what they promised, and it works.
    • They communicate effectively with users and stakeholders at all levels.
    • They have integrity.

    Don’t look at superficial stereotypical attributes when hiring a freelance programmer. Instead focus on ...

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What the critics are saying...

Avonelle has been a pleasure to work with.  Working with someone that you know will always deliver is tremendous.

Mark McNamee @ Renewal by Andersen