Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Beware the Software Siren

I've heard several prominent web marketers mention in their classes and public forums how easy it is to create your own software. Why, all you have to do is run over to Elance.com or RentACoder.com and have some poor shmoe from Outer Slobvia whip out what you want. And all for the price of a few trips to Starbucks.

Uh, not quite.

Is that a spec in your eye?

First of all, there is the matter of specifications. A spec is a description of what your software should do. The more specific your desires, the more detailed your specification needs to be. Even the most malnourished coder in Slobovia is going to balk if you say, "Try a gray background?oops, no, don't like that. Let's try light blue? Oh, that's not right, either. Let's try mauve." If you just want to specify "the important stuff", you have to be prepared to accept all the "unimportant stuff" however it is handed to you.

By the way, both RentACoder.com and Elance.com have provisions in their process and terms of use that protect their developers from vague specifications. The good news is that there are also provisions to protect you, the publisher. Regardless, the more detailed your specification, the greater the chance of a happy outcome. Ah, but writing those darn specs takes a lot of time? far more time than it sounds like when the gurus tell you how easy it is.

This was only a test

There's also the small matter of testing. Once you accept a developer's work, they get paid and get on with their lives. You, however, must live with the software. If you don't find every bug that must be fixed before you pay the coder, you either have to put out another project for bid to repair things or live with the problems until you do.

Therefore, you must test your software upside down and backwards, on a variety of machines and different versions of operating systems. You must also test the installer and the help system? oh, you forgot to specify those? Too bad, those tasks now require an additional project. Since they are radically different in nature (one is technical, one is not), you probably need two different people to do the work. Coders are rarely proficient enough writers to create an effective help system. I'm being kind, so let me emphasize this point without getting nasty: Don't let your programmer touch your documentation. Period. Never. Ever.

Help, oh I need somebody

You may be tempted to skimp on your help system.. Trust me, that is not a good idea. For one thing, in the minds of today's consumers a reasonably good help system is considered a bare necessity. For another thing, a good help system will lower your return rate. It is a worthwhile investment.

A help system also lowers your ongoing technical support costs. What tech support costs you say? Well, here's a statistic that will blow your mind: Most software companies allocate a minimum of 30-40% of a product's purchase price to technical support. The reason is simple: It's cheaper than refunds. Now you may not have created a Microsoft Office clone, but I guarantee you that some inexperienced users are going to need handholding. In my opinion, even in the world of niche products you must at least offer same-day e-mail support.

Xena is cool. Xenophobia is not.

Now before you think I'm just an American developer dissing the folks from other lands over on E-lance and RentACoder, think again. I use both services and love them. And I have developed some excellent working relationships with individuals at both sites. My purpose here is to fire a warning shot across the bow of wannabe software publisher's boats: Software development is a mind-bogglingly labor intensive task whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Web sites like E-lance and RentACoder have lowered the cost of software development to the point that a middle-class American can think about becoming a publisher without having to sell the house.

But you can still get burned, and it is worth counting the total cost of publishing before you get started.

Copyright 2005 - Ross Lambert, the Midnight Marketer

Ross Lambert is co-founder of TheVentureForge.com, a mentoring, hosting, tooling, and e-commerce incubating membership site. He is also a Senior Software Engineer for a fast-growing telecomm in Kirkland, WA and a happy husband and father.

In The News:

Suspect arrested over deadly mass shooting at Fourth of July parade
Tue, 05 Jul 2022 00:43:00 +0100
The man suspected of killing at least six people and seriously injuring more than 30 at a Fourth of July parade in Chicago has been arrested, police have said.

Hit, hit, hit, destroy: Russia's terrifying tactics set to ensure control of the Donbas
Mon, 04 Jul 2022 19:04:00 +0100
Russian troops are ratcheting up their efforts to secure full control of the entire Donbas area in eastern Ukraine - and from what we have witnessed, there's very little which is going to stop them right now.

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios charged with common assault
Tue, 05 Jul 2022 12:01:00 +0100
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios has been charged with assaulting his former girlfriend, media in Australia has reported.

Dozens rescued as 50,000 people face evacuation amid severe floods in Australia
Tue, 05 Jul 2022 11:18:00 +0100
Dozens of people have been rescued overnight in the Sydney area, with about 50,000 residents facing evacuation amid severe flooding in Australia.

Eiffel Tower riddled with rust and in need of full repairs
Tue, 05 Jul 2022 02:11:00 +0100
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is reportedly riddled with rust and in need of full repairs.



tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

Be Creative Before You Purchase Or Create A Website

Before you jump into spending coutnless hours on designing and... Read More

Guide to Internet Business - Design and Content

After deciding what kind of internet business you want to... Read More

PHP Redirect

A PHP Redirect automatically transfers a web user from one... Read More

Enhance Your Website With A Yahoo-Style Directory

Does your website have a links/resources page?Do you exchange reciprocal... Read More

7 Reasons YOU Need a Website

1) A marketing necessityI still hear it said from time... Read More

Do You Really Need A Website To Succeed

Rosalind wants to share her inspirational poetry with a wider... Read More

User Interface Design: Key to Achieve Best Web Development

From early days of www, the Internet sites that are... Read More

Credibility - 10 Ways to Build it on Your Website

If you have your own business website and you are... Read More

Setting Up Your First Website

Q. Hey, Cathy: I'm just setting up a website. What... Read More

Three Things Every Website Should Do

When I started my company in 2002, I knew I... Read More

Tips to Protect Your Downloads or Products

1. Upload robots.txt file in to your root directory and... Read More

Set Up Your Website in Minutes ? For Free

There was a time not long ago when setting up... Read More

Website Content & Usability

Writing for the web is totally different to writing for... Read More

Lead Generation How to -- 10 Tips On Generating More Internet Sales Leads

Many millions of dollars are being wasted on promoting and... Read More

How to Build a Database Driven Web Site

If you ever want to create a state directory, article... Read More

Frequent Business Question: How Do You Start a Web Business?

Today it seems everyone is jumping on the entrepreneur bandwagon,... Read More

The Importance of Website Stats to You

One of the best tools you have as a webmaster... Read More

Does Your Business Really Need A Website?

Website, website, website, everyone says you need one. But do... Read More

Internet Marketing Website Promotion -The 7 Biggest Mistakes I See People Make With Websites!

1. Many people are not getting good or complete advice.... Read More

Planning Your Website for Success

Most people know they need a website in order to... Read More

Launch Your Own Website Today - Its Easier Than You Think!

Thousands of people are now making a living online and... Read More

My Yahoo Search - Beyond Bookmarks

Yahoo has long offered email, an online calendar, notes, bookmarks,... Read More

7 Tips to Make Your Order Page Work Harder

So your prospect, Mary, is sitting at the computer reading... Read More

Maximizing ROI via Web Site Traffic Analysis

We are clearly well past the innocent "golden age" of... Read More

Web Accessibility: The Basics

What is web accessibility & why is it important?Web accessibility... Read More