Publication Date: 2/20/2009 11:38:09 AM
One of the reasons why I love programming is that when you are doing it right, the software you build actually makes things better for someone. Today I’ve seen two examples of this:
Publication Date: 2/6/2009 5:54:47 PM
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 email@example.com.
Question: I recently hired a programmer to build custom applications and reports. He is asking me to spend lots of money on a new computer and software. My company isn’t giant – I don’t have lots of spare dollars to spend. But I am willing to fork out some dough if it will help him work faster. How can I tell if these requests are legitimate or a spending spree?
Publication Date: 2/4/2009 10:11:17 AM
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.
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 ...
Publication Date: 1/27/2009 5:50:43 PM
"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 ...
Publication Date: 1/26/2009 11:50:08 AM
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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The Secret to Building a Crappy User Interface
The Problem with Selecting the Lowest Bidder
5 Ways to Control Software Development Costs
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