Long in the Tooth: What to Do with Aging Software

Long in the Tooth: What to Do with Aging Software

It’s happening more and more lately.

    Me: . . . Okay, so I understand a little bit about your project goals and how they fit in with your business needs. . . Can you tell me, if you know, what technologies your current application was built with?

    Client: Um. . . I’ve heard some of the folks say “PHP”. . . does that make sense?

    Me: Sure does. Any idea what version of PHP and which framework it might be leveraging?

    Client: Oooh, I don’t know. . . I can get that for you though. . .

    Me: That’s okay. How about this: How old is the application and when is the last time you did an update?

    Client: Well, we developed it in 2007 and we had a person who worked on it for just a couple years after that but they aren’t here anymore. . .

Software development has moved through several “ages” as both technical innovation and the cultural evolution driven by those technical innovations has moved from the early adopters through the late adopters and permeated our expectations of what technology is. (more…)

When a Fixed Price is a Reasonable Option

When a Fixed Price is a Reasonable Option

I still run into a lot of companies that have the expectation that software development can be done on a fixed-price basis. They’re either still used to waterfall management style, or dealing with goods vendors, or, maybe a few are still running into software developers willing to work on a fixed-price basis.

On this blog, we’ve talked about the dangers inherent in fixed-price development services. How companies willing to offer an FPB will triple their hourly rate for change requests in order to make up the margin they already know exists between what they think the project will cost, and what it actually will end up costing. How every project, no matter how well planned out, rarely looks the same at the finish as it did at the start. How the number of unknowns at the start of a development project could fill a dump truck. What we haven’t talked much about is when it is reasonable to ask for, or expect, a fixed price. (more…)

Persistence

Persistence

Boston

March 1911

Icy wind blew the pages of the young man’s book from beneath his near-frozen fingers. His tattered gloves helped little. He huddled in an alley finding what warmth he could behind a bakery. The scent of baking bread made his mouth water but he dared not spend the few coins he had. His family needed every penny he earned as a newsboy to survive. He returned to the book — a law book — the hundredth he had studied cover to cover since coming to America, a poor Russian child who spoke no English. In a few short minutes, he would head back out onto the street and cry “paper,” just as he had every day since his 10th birthday. But for now, he needed to focus on his studies, no matter how cold he was. (more…)

Our Takeaways from NAB Show 2017

Our Takeaways from NAB Show 2017

A couple of us were among the 100,000+ attendees at the recent NAB Show in April. If you’ve never been to the show, it would be kind of tricky to describe it fully since it’s rather broad and all-encompassing when it comes to media and digital content. The National Association of Broadcasters describes it as follows:

[NAB Show is] the world’s largest convention encompassing The M.E.T. Effect, the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. With 103,000 attendees from 166 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways. (more…)

12 Things I Learned About Starting a Business (by Starting a Business)

12 Things I Learned About Starting a Business (by Starting a Business)

The first thing I learned by starting a business is that it’s best just to do something. If you have an idea for a business, and you love the idea, and you believe it to be a good idea, then just run with it. If it doesn’t turn out great, or even if it fails, learn from your mistakes, and do it better next time. If you sit around just thinking about how to do something perfectly, you’ll never do anything. So rather than sitting around thinking about how to write the perfect article about this, I’m just going to jump in and start writing!

Here then is a list, starting with the second thing that I learned by starting a business. (more…)

Rebuilding SXSW

Rebuilding SXSW

Now, just hold on a minute. I’m not trying to say that SXSW is broken or somehow inefficient. Stop yelling at me.

Look: SXSW has been around for about 30 years at this point. And it’s grown exponentially in that time. I started going to peripheral music events around 2010 and began attending the Interactive portion in an official capacity for Art & Logic in 2013. As a company, we’ve attended, exhibited at the trade show, and organized panel discussions on technology topics. And every single year since we’ve had a presence, the conference has expanded. More people, more crowds, more lines, more presenters, more panels, more sponsors, and more chaos. (more…)