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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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outsourcing

by RAMROD In reply to what business are you in

The nature of the business is call centre outsourcing work\telemarketing. We take on work that our clients do not need to set up dedicated outbound\sales\research\appointment setting call centres of their own.

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what's next?

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

I see you're heading for (personal)disaster :-) The question is not: can I do it but will you be able to take that also on your shoulders? I don't question your tech skills, enough tips have been given in prev posts but 1 person for 110 users? and you're feeling stretched already? Have fun with your bonus - if you have time to enjoy it. (sorry for the negative undertone but 'been there done that', have them instead invest in a real it-dept)

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Tsk tsk...

by neildsouza In reply to what's next?

RAMROD.... I absolutely agree with Pivert. 110 users? Ohmygosh! Either your workplace is a train wreck ready to happen, or it is already a train wreck.

I'm sorry man, but ideally you should be handling 15-20 PCs, 5-7 more if they are Macs ;-)

There's no way you can get your attention to all those problems. I sure hope your boss understands this.

And if you're managing all this, hope you're getting paid double, triple... and-a-half...

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Not to pile on.... but.....

by bubmiller In reply to Tsk tsk...

I agree to some extent with the previous two post and would like to add that programming an application will had a new dimension to your job that you will never be completely be able to anticipate.

If you are thinking that you will simply be able to write this app once and be done with it, then you are setting yourself up for endless frustration. I have working in and around application development for most of my 16 years in IT. No matter how simple an application you develop, the application will develop a life of it's own. You will be responsible for all aspects of the applcation from training to documentation. There will always be requests for changes that the users will see as very small and won't be able to comprehend why it will take you months to get them done.

If you don't have a formal process in place already, which as a one man shop I suspect you don't, adding applicaton development and maintenance to the mix will probably drive you to the breaking point. There is a value in the money being spent on the current software that your director does not see.

I wish you luck and I don't want to be negative, but application development is more that just writing code and if you don't have expectations set at the right level, you will be setting yourself up for failure. I work as a team leader supporting a site of 600 computers (Intel + 10 HPUX) with 3 other team members and I am very careful to keep my programming background hidden, because I know that I will not be able to do my current job if I get sucked into all the "programming" projects I could do.

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Advice

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

RAMROD

I am a devloper who is and have been working on delivering complete software systems from scratch and know what you face. My software isnt as critical as a voip system and I have been on the same project for the last 4 months. I wouldnt say your project is impossible but it would take at least 12 months at a push.

What your boss is proposing is going to take a singular developer far too long to implement. Why design it from scratch when there are already solutions that you can deliver - the open source system:

http://www.vocpsystem.com/

Wont cost you anything unless you want to subscrive for support, just the config. Its secure - non windows based system. Could save you a big headache.

Regards

Luke Lincoln

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? of really being a bonus

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

Would it really be a bonus to do all this extra work on top of what you must already be doing, plus having to take on this project? I know from being in a similiar situation that the $ will not ease the stress and workload. Question whether an assistant would cost more than the benefit of having some of your duties relieved to put towards this new project. Would it be cheaper in the long run to purchase the software or have it developed third party? Besides, if you crash and burn, where is the company going to be at without you at the helm? No easy answers, but they will point you in the right direction if you answer them honestly. Best of luck.

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Get more help!!

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

I understand the plights of small companies, however this does not excuse them from running their IT ---department which is you, into the ground. You must consider, no matter how well you code, you're still going to wind up modifying, and supporting it when users start to untilize it in the company. I would lobby very hard at least for a part time administrator or tech support person to handle the basic network and user demands so you can work in peace.
good luck ...

_Scott

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

I've been working as a one person IT team doing network and database management for a small company of 150-200 users for about five years, develop software, and am finishing my work on a Masters degree. You can accomplish the task without burning yourself out by applying the following concepts.

- Automate all maintenance
- Replace equipment in 3 year cycles
- Have your internal customers form the bulk of your specifications
- Have regular meetings with department leaders in order to form priorities
- Creates systems that users use as opposed to systems that you must operate
(Get out of reporting by giving them the tools)
- Build excellent remote access for you and the organization
- Design your schedule using flex time if necessary
- Remember perception is reality (If they believe that you are performing well, you are...)

During the last five years I have replaced ERP systems, written customized solutions related to BI, document management, and other MIS systems while running the entire IT enterprise. Plus I currently attend Masters courses and week long conferences. If I can do it so can you.

Best of luck.

Tom Staight
Information Systems
Ext 141
tstaight@nemcomedical.com

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tell the cheap *******

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

Tell the cheap ******* to give you a reasonable budget, which includes the ability to hire a programmer, (even after hours side-job proggy
that want incentive bonus money).... THAT is your strength.... To MANAGE this project.

This guy would have to change his underwear if he got a quote for what a telephony software project really costs..... lol

Seriously dude, prepare your timeline, budget, goal breaks, testing phase, implementation phases, final testing, etc..... and get a quote from a fellow IT project person. Then cut it in half, and present THAT to HIM, instead of this "carrot-dangling" IT people will do anything cause they all on sale" attitude that is prevalent in today's world....

Good luck.

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Take care!

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

I would be real careful about this. Depending upon what your higher ups view your position to be, even if you do the 'heroic' act and pull of the software development, you may get the bonus, but raise the expectation that (even as your organization may grow and other responsibilities become part of your regular job) you can of course 'do whatever it takes.' This will lead to many more long, and probably uncompensated hours.

Were I your manager, I would be more impressed with your ability to find and direct an independent developer to do this (including setting up maintenance) If you pulled it off, within budget, and were able to continue all of the other functions, you would get the bonus. But then I don't write your paycheck.

What is the price of your family life? on your soul?

tol

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