Custom Application Development

November 7, 2007  11:36 AM

Time to Redesign? – An Application Development Quandary

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

No, I do NOT belong to the writers guild, and am NOT on strike.  So much to say, so little time in which to say it! 

I awoke this morning thinking about my latest quandary — whether to just give up on maintaining the non-working component of my application, or to continue my efforts to come out of my predicament by means of a “breakthrough” which suddenly fixes the problem.  (So far this morning I have chosen to blog about it instead of working on it — somehow hoping that I talk my way through to a fix.) Continued »

November 1, 2007  11:28 AM

What Constitutes Good Program Code?

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

Good program code first and foremost just “works” as expected, does the job for which it was designed, and provides trouble free operation in a timely fashion.  Working, however, is only one component of good program code.  There are certainly many other aspects to good program code which must be considered, but how does one evaluate program code to say “…this is good code”.?  “Good” program code is an especially elusive label, based upon criteria that is as individual as each programmer.  (Now that’s a scary thought – I’m glad Halloween is over!) Continued »

October 27, 2007  8:40 PM

Software Quality and Maintainability

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

Maintainability is often included as a component of software quality, and as with so many software quality components, there has been much effort expended on measuring.  For me trying to measure “software quality” in any manner seems to mimic something that I might see on the TV show “Numbers”, it is WAY over my head.  While I was looking into “software maintenance” via a recent Google search, I discovered an interesting paper titled “Can We Measure Maintainability?“.   Once again I’ll leave these academic discussions for the “experts”, and just put out here my thoughts on the subject, right, wrong or somewhere in-between.  Continued »

October 26, 2007  1:03 PM

More thoughts on Software Quality and Testing

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

On October 15th  Michelle Davidson, site editor for, in her newsletter “This Week” made reference to a post that called software testing “a hated necessity.”  I certainly have seen evidence of that over my years in software development and as an IT software specialist, and I really don’t understand why it persists.  As an independent developer of applications for small companies, I do not normally have the luxury of having my work reviewed by another — absolutely the preferred methodology in my book. Continued »

October 25, 2007  12:33 PM

Just What Is Software Quality?

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

How do you define software quality?  There has been a great deal written about software quality, and as perhaps may be expected, many differing points of view regarding just what constitutes software quality.  I’ll not attempt to add yet another definition to the mix, although I certainly do have some ideas about the subject.

My recent software quality thoughts have been prompted by my getting up close and personal with an application I originally developed sometime in the late 80’s.  It has truly been an eye opener to have the opportunity to look at code which I generated back then.  This is code that fails many tests for quality — particularly understandability, consistency and maintainability…and structure?…what’s that? Continued »

October 21, 2007  1:58 AM

Software Development, Testing, Quality and Virtualization

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

I honestly don’t know how I managed to ever complete a software development project prior to virtualization.  Although as I think about it more closely, I realize that the way I did it was to maintain a plethora of workstations, each with another O/S on it, and used only occasionally.  It certainly was NOT a “green” solution.  Now I carry a complete (enough for testing) network on my laptop!  Using virtualization my “laptop” network consists of a WIN2003 Server, WIN2000 Server, XP Pro, Linux and XP Home.  These are the O/S’s I need to test my applications with — and they are all now available to me on my Vista laptop used as virtualization host.  Continued »

October 18, 2007  1:35 PM

Application Software Redesign – When is it time?

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

When is it time to look at an application software redesign?  A comment made to my post yesterday really hit a home run with me.  For one thing, I found once again that there are others who seem to think along the same lines as I do — always a nice feeling I find! 

It was LadyRatri’s comment “…Beyond just tolerating “klunkiness”, it’s always a surprise when business or operational process is designed around the deficiencies of a tool or its interface — especially when it adds significantly to the time it takes users to do their day-to-day work. ”  This statement speaks volumes to me.  Continued »

October 17, 2007  6:34 PM

Small Business Custom Software Development – Always a Challenge

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

Let’s face it – custom software development for a small business is no less work than for a larger operation.  Assuming what is being developed is truly multi-user, perhaps the front-end for a database, or even multiple databases, the same issues have to be addressed.  It is always a challenge for me to design the user interface to meet my high standards.

My standard for the UI?  It is very simple.  I believe that “If a user knows how to do their job, they ought to be able to sit down and use the application to get their job done.”    (…at least that part of their job which can be automated) Continued »

October 12, 2007  12:27 PM

Learning a new Business

SJC SJC Profile: SJC

I believe that one of the most challenging parts of being an application software developer is that of learning a new business.  I further believe that it is essential at every level for members of the project team to have at least a minimal knowledge of the “big picture” of a project, as I’ve seen too many examples of applications failing to meet the user needs because of a lack of understanding.  In the small business environment in which I generally work I have found that the more I learn of a customers business the better I can provide what they really need  (…and want that they don’t even know how to express!).  I’m going through just such a learning experience now. Continued »

October 11, 2007  10:52 AM

How’s Your “Vista”?

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My work morning started with a big grin as I read a Computerworld article titled “Mother’s ire puts Ballmer on defense over Vista“!  It seems an analyst and mother of a 13 year old was interviewing Ballmer at the ITxpo conference yesterday and confronted him about Vista.  It seems after 2 days of Vista on her daughter’s machine, she went back to XP.  (Her daughter “needed” gadgets — hence the Vista install).  Continued »

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