Business-focused custom software

  • Top 5 tasks that get missed in software estimates

    Software estimates can be tricky. One challenge is remembering what to include. When people put together their estimates, they usually focus on the features but often forget some critical pieces that aren’t functionality specific.

    You might think that as a customer you don’t need to concern yourself with this. To a degree you are correct. But if your software roll-out has dependencies that make hitting target dates critical, you’ll want to feel confident that the estimates are accurate. Also, some developers who charge on an hourly basis can low-ball projects by providing estimates that exclude these tasks. It will be ...

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  • Duct Tape Programmers and their scary look-a-likes

    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 ...

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  • Who pays for mistakes?

    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 ...

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  • What programmers can learn from 5 year olds about software design

    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.

    The ...

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  • Please (I’m begging you) only hire tech resources you can trust

    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 ...

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What the critics are saying...

From my experience with Avonelle, she can be relied on to deliver whatever she promises--always on time and for the quoted cost. She'll ask the right questions to make sure that what she delivers truly meets the business need. Her expertise has been invaluable. All that at a very reasonable rate!

Kim Merriman, Operations Manager @ HousingLink