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Software developer or network admin

By RAMROD ·
I've been working as a one person IT team doing network and database management for a small company of 110 users for about a year and half now. My previous experience was similar but in a very junior role. I have been given a task by my director to come with our own specialised cti (computer telephony)integrated software that could save the company tens of thousands in licensing costs. The problem here is that being a one man band I've come to realise that by taking this task on I'm stretching myself thin. I've made good progress so far in learning how to program in c# plus my previous database knowledge. My question to you all is:how do I get this software built without having to contract or hire another developer because that would leave me back in square one and lose the oppurtunity for a bonus by building this app? I'm aware that it is possible to outsource development projects or certain aspects of them but what are the implications on cost effectiviness and overall quality of the projects?

Your help is appreciated in advance.

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It would be the way I'd go

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to time

I've always been leery of commissioning turn key solutions from even the most reputable of vendors. It's not in their interest's business wise to give you a maintainable, modular or even slightly future proof solution. If you aren't familiar with the issues they'll drown you in bs and then sell you a rubber ring that fails before you get to the side. It will be an interesting ethical problem for me if I ever get commissioned on a deliverable myself.

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by The Admiral In reply to time

First thing is first. Don't re-invent the wheel. IF there is source out there to make your job easy then take advantage of it.

Second, Make sure that it is more than basic and it is scalable. Time and time again I see people who can only do the basics, then when it comes to advanced options, they still have to call in a developer.

Third, if you call in a developer, understand that any work that they do for you is for hire, so you own the code, they do not. Do not sign a contract contrary to that belief.

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See whats out there

by matthewe In reply to

You might be better off checking out what is out there instead of reinventing telephony systems. You can check out krpcomm.com and they have some software based telephony systems that are highly customizable.

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Outsource and still get bonus - get it done right

by wtotten1 In reply to There will be developers ...

Tell your boss that if you were managing the situation (not the IT department as you don't want him to feel that your questioning his management), based on your assessment, the wisest plan to insure the sucessful development of the software AND the continued success of the IT needs you currently handle, would be to outsource it with you managing the development (project manager). You will earn your bonus by managing it and making sure it gets done right. A high percentage of software development projects don't get done right, or at all, because of over-worked or incompetent programmers. I would advise against you, with your limited programming experience, taking on a project like this. It will take much longer than either you or your boss estimates and it will be frustrating for everyone.

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Use your company resources!!

by grewcockd In reply to Software developer or net ...

Hi,
Firstly if you have an HR dept, get them 'onside'. If you are 'stretched too thin', and have too much 'on your plate'. Make durned sure HR know about, and keep badgering them until they do something about it!! After all that is part of their remit.

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Delegate

by p.janssens In reply to Use your company resource ...

Make a list of standard procedures ( e.g. change backup tapes ) and low level first aid tasks ( e.g. unlock user accounts ) and other simple procedures which don't require specific knowledge.
Look if someone in your organisation has the skills to aid you (temporarely) with these tasks and transfer those tasks (temporarely).

Don't forget to make a quick checkup schedule for yourself to see if all the tasks are done as required.

Maybe this won't buy you enough time but then maybe it will give you some breathing space !

Success !

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You could try the Eicon cards with their free SDK...

by spanos In reply to Software developer or net ...

Hello,

You could try using Eicon cards (www.eicon.com) which are not so expensive, plus they provide a free SDK and samples to build Call and Fax applications.

We have just started using them to develop integrated fax solutions using VB.NET.

Regards

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Where's the Business Plan?

by martin_ternouth In reply to Software developer or net ...

I have come across this so often as an employer and a
consultant that I can almost write this in my sleep.

"Hey, we could save ourselves thousands/tens of thousands/
millions of dollars by getting one of our IT guys to write our
inhouse stuff in his odd five minutes of spare time. Shouldn't
take him more than a couple of weeks . . ."

1. Are the benefits proven?
2. Is the company prepared to invest money to achieve them?
3. How reliable are the development plans?
4. What are the user acceptance criteria?
5. Who will provide full documentation for on-going support in
your absence?

Just five questions out of a thousand. If your product doesn't
work and continue to work to the same supported standards of
what the company is now spending tens of thousands on then
you will be blamed. Get them to treat this exactly as if it were
an external procurement so that you know precisely what it is
you are expected to provide. Do not muddle on dazzled by the
prospect of the bonus in the middle distance, because it will
remain in the middle distance unless you have a firm schedule to
secure it. If you don't, I guarantee that on the day you hand over
what you think to be the finished product, you will have twice
the work you have put in to that date to get it just like they want
it. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Amen to your Business Plan

by AndeAnderson In reply to Where's the Business Plan ...

The old dream of saving thousands by doing it yourself will always turn out to be just that, a dream.

Somehow, we forget that the most valuable asset we have is our time and do not add that or the additional resources needed to accomplish the project to the actual cost of a project. There is no such thing as a free software package. You will end up paying for it in money, time or most likely both.

How serious the people are that want you to do this can be measured by how much support and authority they are willing to provide you to get it done. Is there a budget set-up for the project? Will you have to have their approval for each and every purchase of equipment and outside contracting when it is needed?

Plus, no two people will want the package to do the same thing so you will be constantly trying to make it do the impossible - Everything to Everyone.

As for the "Bonus", it will actually cost you more in the long run than the promised "Bonus" would ever be, IF you ever receive it. Because In-House Projects are never completed to the satisfaction of the people who wanted it.

If you still want to tackle such a project, we are all independent and think we can do it ourselves until we hit that brick wall, make sure it is in writing, spelled out and funded. Just like a good Business Plan or Contract.

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what business are you in

by roberts184 In reply to Amen to your Business Pla ...

along the lines of a business plan to help clarify what you are doing, what business does your company do? if it has nothing to do with software development and they are only interested in saving money on licensing costs, then say no thanks to the project. if they are involved in software development, build the business plan to show how many different companies you could sell this customized interface to and make a profit.

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