Publication Date: 9/25/2009 8:19:44 AM
Unless you are a programmer, you probably don’t read Joel on Software since, well, he writes about software development. It is too bad, because he actually writes about the business of software development, and not complicated coding techniques.
This week he wrote about The Duct Tape Programmer. HIs post describes a type of programmer who isn’t fascinated by the most cool, complicated programming solution, and instead focuses on building applications and shipping software. He compares this programmer to architecture astronauts who have really great ideas about building software, but their ideas require people smarter than most of us.
I think ...
Publication Date: 9/17/2009 9:04:58 AM
One reason why I am an advocate for fixed-fee pricing over hourly pricing is that I dislike the notion that the customer should be penalized if I make a mistake. I’m of the opinion that the customer should be protected from my boo-boos as much as possible.
There are a few kinds of mistakes that can occur on a software project. One kind of mistake is when the programmer creates a poor estimate of the required effort. This is a very common because few programmers are good at software estimation.
Some who charge hourly will not penalize the customer in ...
Publication Date: 9/15/2009 1:21:37 PM
I recently attended my nephew’s 5th birthday party. Observing him I realized that he and his guests could teach programmers a thing or two about software design:
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
My nephew spends quite a bit of time playing with imaginary friends. And to him, they all have distinct personalities. (For example, one of his imaginary friends is a dead composer. Another is a penguin.)
Programmers often think too much like themselves when designing software. To design really great software, you need to be able to use your imagination, and put yourself in another person’s shoes.
Publication Date: 8/25/2009 5:44:33 PM
I was reminded today of the importance of being careful about the technology resources you hire. This article refers to a survey that suggests that more than 59% of employees who are fired, laid off or quit admit to stealing company data. Yikes! When you trust someone with your technology, you are giving them the ability to do severe damage to your business. Not only do you risk data loss or data theft, but there is also the potential of destruction of your reputation and brand.
Before you hire someone (internally or externally) to work on technology related activities for ...
Publication Date: 7/31/2009 1:18:03 PM
It is true: custom software can be expensive. The problem isn’t overpriced programmers (usually). The problem is that custom software takes time to build. And effort, lots of effort. (And no one knows what they want, and keep changing their mind, but that’s a separate story.)
Still, it is possible to get custom software for less money than you were quoted. The answer is simple: cut features.
My smartest customers know this. If I provide a bid that is outside their budget, they’ll ask this brilliant question:
“Here’s what we are trying to achieve. Is there a way we ...
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