Doing

Doing

Cybersecurity for Small Business

By

Going to work for yourself can be a hugely liberating experience. When I first made the shift, I came to fully appreciate the empowering distinction between the question, “Is it OK if I take Friday off”, and the statement, “I’m not available Friday”. But for every question that boosted my confidence, there was at least one causing a new worry. As a programmer, one of the biggest was, “What if I’m the victim of a data breach?” A recent report sponsored by IBM indicates that the typical breach can cost companies as much as $4 million per incident. Even worse, they estimate that 1 out of every 4 companies worldwide is likely to experience some kind of breach in 2017. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of work or money to improve your odds. At Anchor-Buoy Software, I’ve found spending a little time setting up good security practices buys a huge amount of peace-of-mind. What kind of data breaches should I worry about? There were two main types of security breaches that we were concerned with: Someone stealing data from a system and sharing or selling it. Someone stopping me from accessing my own (or a client’s) data. Although the […]

0 76
Roger Jacques
Doing

Building Quality into Software Development

By

Software quality assurance is often thought of as QA testers finding bugs, and coders then fixing those bugs. This is very much part of our work at Tek-Connect, but we take the involvement of QA staff further than that. One of the cornerstones of our process to is to involve QA very early in the process of developing an app or a feature. There are multiple benefits to this approach. The first benefit of bringing QA into the process at the beginning is the avoidance of surprises during development. We’re talking specifically about surprises or gaps in requirements. For a seasoned software developer, bugs that are caused by typos are neither surprising nor difficult to manage. However, gaps or problems with requirements can wreak havoc on the process, resulting in budget or schedule overruns, and/or unhappy clients. At Tek-Connect, we have QA review feature tickets before the coders estimate the work. Having an extra pair of detail-oriented eyes on the requirements surfaces gaps in use cases, and helps to identify possible side effects with other functionality. Under normal conditions, QA will also write the test plan in advance of coders coding the feature. The second benefit of having QA involved […]

0 135
Scott Love
Doing

Marketing Isn’t Yelling

By

I love baseball and my wife and I live quite near Coors Field in Denver. Go Rockies! We’ve been to a number of games and, among other things, have acquainted ourselves with some of the regulars who frequent the park. There’s one guy in particular who sparked a thought… I don’t know his name, we’ve never talked, but he wears a cardboard REPENT sandwich board and yells at the top of his lungs that we’re all sinners and are going to Hell. Presumably, he’d like to either facilitate the process or mitigate it, but I’ll admit to not having investigated further. Which, really, gets to my point. Regardless of one’s particular beliefs, I found myself musing on the marketing strategy in evidence. Here he is trolling a crowd on their way into a baseball game – arguably a competing religion unto itself – and simply broadcasting his message without regard to buyer interest. I wonder what sort of success rate he enjoys. His impressions are no doubt in the thousands – impressive, given his ad budget! – but I wonder about bounce rate. Based on an admittedly poor sampling of data, my hunch is that he likely lands one customer […]

0 101
Scott Love
Doing

Marketing Isn’t Pretty

By

I’ve been doing marketing for technology firms for years now and one of the things that always surprises me is that people don’t seem to understand what marketing is, or really what the point behind it is. Marketing isn’t about how a home page looks or how clever an ad can be. And it’s really not about “finding your voice”, “picking your corporate color palette” or naming a new product. Don’t get me wrong – those are all things you do want your marketing people involved with and ultimately guiding decisions for. How your home page looks matters and presenting a consistent sense of design does say something about your company. The creative stuff is critical, and I don’t mean to downplay the contribution great artists and designers make to representing ideas in the world. But the suit doesn’t make the person. Marketing is ultimately about building an engine that can take your business somewhere (and look good doing it). It’s about a system, and it’s about the destination. You put dollars and time – fuel – in one end of the engine and get interested, prospective customers out the other end. And like all systems, you can build good […]

0 153
Project Management Process Tools
Doing

Project Management Process Tools

By

There are a lot of software tools available that you can build your project management process around. Many choices exist other than the ones I’m mentioning in this post. I have actually used these in various capacities, so my input is from my experiences using the software. No matter what you choose, remember that the software doesn’t manage projects for you. You still have to actually use the software. You will have to build schedules, assign people, and communicate clearly. It’s a tool, not magic. So, be prepared to develop a project management process no matter what you go with, and to use that process. The key is to pick one and go for it. And don’t look back. Embrace the one you choose with all of its strengths and weaknesses and build your project management process around your choice to customize it a little into being your own. Basecamp 2 You got me. This one is my favorite by far. It is simple, and that’s what I like about it. Building your project management strategies around Basecamp 2 is straight-forward. It isn’t “scary” to a client and you can get them to interact with it, in most cases, which lightens […]

5 185
project management strategies
Doing

6 Project Management Strategies for Software Developers

By

Project management strategies help you finish projects on time, on budget and within scope. Easily said, but how do you create a system around project management? These 6 tips will help you get there. 1. Stop Using Email The number one way to start developing your own project management strategies is to stop using email as a project management tool. It is not a tool for managing projects. It is a communication tool. By eliminating it as the way you communicate about projects, your inbox will be cut in half – perhaps even as much as in a fourth. You won’t hate your inbox as much and you can get back to using it as a sales communication tool or to share those cat videos with your sister. The next added benefit is that you won’t be responding to the squeakiest wheel or the person with the request that just happened to be at the top of your inbox. If you are using project management software properly, you will know what your priority is and be able to address requests accordingly. 2. Determine Your Project Management Strategies Before you choose a software, you want to have a rough idea of […]

0 160
Doing, Podcast

Episode 29: Managing Ongoing Support Work

By

What happens after a project rolls out and the software you have created is being used everyday? Software needs to be maintained and supported. New ideas need to be implemented, features need to be modified, and issues need to be resolved. So what are the options for managing this work and how valuable is it?

0 249
Doing

Rally Against Common Enemies: Budget, Scope, Timeline

By

Build solid unified teams for your software development projects by identifying common enemies to rally against. In this case of software development projects, here are three things that everyone wants to avoid: blown budgets, scope creep, and missed deadlines. By framing these as common enemies, the entire project team will work together to defeat them on your way to successful project outcomes. Budget Regardless of how you define the budget of your project, nobody wants to spend more money than expected. If you’re billing hourly, sure you can charge for everything you do, but the client still has an expectation (hopefully clearly defined by you) and isn’t going to be pleased if the cost of the project exceeds that expectation. If you’re billing a flat fee for the project, then you need to make sure you don’t end up giving away a lot of valuable work just because your client asks for more stuff. Even though the client won’t get charged more, you’ll eventually resent working for free. A blown budget in either direction makes for an un-unified project team and opens a door to adversity and blame games. The budget, however defined, is the responsibility of the entire team. […]

0 318
Doing

Webinar: audit your project management process

By

Being a great developer doesn’t automatically lead to successful software development projects. You also need to know how to successfully execute and manage your projects. The very first step to awesome project management is having a project management process and knowing how to articulate it to your team, both the developers and your clients. For over five years I’ve been teaching software consultants how to implement a simple Agile project management methodology. From the experience of working with several development shops I have identified ten elements of a software development project. Whether you know it or not, you’re dealing with these project elements every time you build a new custom application for one of your clients. Learn the ten elements of a software development project so you can audit your own process and find out where you can improve Join me on Wednesday, October 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT) for a FREE webinar about the Ten Elements of a Software Development Project. Here’s what you’ll learn: The ten elements of every software development project Whether or not you have a consistent process for each Where you should focus your process improvement efforts There will be plenty of […]

2 412
Doing

Agile Software Development on Freelance Transformation

By

I recently had the pleasure of exploring Agile software development and project management with Matt Inglot on the Freelance Transformation podcast.  Matt has been running a web development agency for over 10 years. In the first seven of those years, he made a lot of mistakes and just wasn’t getting ahead. Eventually he started making great decisions and transformed his business to create his desired lifestyle and achieve financial freedom. The Freelance Transformation podcast is all about sharing the tips, tricks, and techniques Matt has used to build a successful agency. Beyond the podcast itself, Matt shares recommended resources and articles to help you achieve your freelancing goals. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE Elusive Moose is all about helping software developers and consultants manage successful businesses. We’re offering a FREE Moose Guide to help you learn more about the Ten Elements of a Software Development Project and figure out where you should be focusing to improve your project management approach. Download a FREE copy NOW. * You will be subscribed to our email list and receive super helpful tips and advice from Molly Connolly and me to help you manage your software development consulting business. Unsubscribe at any time, but I really don’t […]

0 442

LOG IN

Lost your password?

SIGN UP

LOST PASSWORD