Business-focused custom software

  • My software doesn’t contain missile launch codes, why does it need security?

    “I just want my users to log into my application before using it. Is it really that hard?” my customer asked, frustrated.

    Short answer: Yes.

    Long answer: It depends.

    Look I sympathize. If you think I enjoy all this security stuff, you would be really wrong. Security related issues are NO FUN. No one likes security. Users hate it, so if people have security-related trouble, they think the application is horrible and the programmer is an idiot.

    The reason why everyone is frustrated is obvious. Software security is intended to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the application. But users want ...

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  • Is your software project run by underpants gnomes?

    Every time I see the underpants gnomes on South Park I shudder. These are the guys who came up with the brilliant 3 phase business strategy:

    File:Gnomes plan.png

    Actually I think the underpants gnomes are pretty funny. But they hit a little close to home, you know? Because I’ve seen a lot of software projects that follow a similar logic.

    Take for example a recent Craigslist post:

    “I'd like to find a web designer that would help me build a web community like MYSPACE or FACEBOOK. I’m looking for local web designers/students that can be affordable.”

    Uh, okay. You want to build ...

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  • Why your programmer needs to be like MacGyver

    200px-MacGyver_intro Okay, I confess. I never really watched MacGyver. But the idea of someone who can solve most any problem by quickly inventing a solution out of duct tape and dental floss (or whatever is laying around nearby) is pretty cool.

    To me this seems a lot like how the best programmers work. While most programmers aren’t solving the life-and-death problems that MacGyver faced, they often have to solve them remotely, and with little or misleading information.

    So what MacGyver-like characteristics should you be looking for in the next programmer you hire?

    Creativity

    I think the thing most important MacGyver ...

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  • 3 Reasons Why Improved Data Validation Will Save You Money

    Occasionally a customer will tell me that they don’t want to validate the data being entered into a form or page. Sometimes they think there aren’t any rules for the data. And sometimes they are concerned about the additional cost. Here are some reasons why improving the quality of the data will actually save you money:

    Future assumptions

    It is easy to think now that there are no rules about the data you are capturing. But months or years later, you may start making logical assumptions about that information that aren’t really true. For example, you may assume that every ...

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  • Ask the Programmer: Why can’t I change my mind?

    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: We hired a contract programmer to build a new application for our organization. Everything started out well, but now the project is late and shows no signs of getting done. He says it is because we changed our mind on some of the requirements. But how could we know it wasn’t what we wanted until we saw something? And several of these changes weren’t that big a deal. 

    Answer: This ...

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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