A course on writing code well.

About a year ago, I read a fantastic book On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I spend quite a bit of time using the written word to convey ideas and authoring code to create software. There are many parallels, perhaps the most important of which was Zinsser’s proclamation: Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. – William…

Hourly billing and risk adversion

This came up in a comment on my post about What kind of results can you guarantee?: “If you practice value-based pricing, you better be awesome at predicting the future.” I don’t have a link to the original source of this statement, but the statement itself captures an important sentiment. Every day we take risks in life and we don’t…

Rewriting software

Some have speculated that a significant part of the existence of software professionals is to rewrite existing systems. Kind of like every 5 or 10 years, or more frequently, a family will toss out the old car and buy a new one. After a while a car shows its age, and perhaps that is some of the reason why software…

What kind of results can you guarantee?

In a past post I referred to some podcasts on value, value pricing and software development. Michael had a few questions about the podcast. These are deep questions so I thought it would be fun to answer them in a video format where I can talk through the considerations and my response.

The second question from Michael:

What kind of results can you put in your proposals in a way that lets you put your guarantee under it and be 99% sure you will hit the results?

What if there are factors contributing to the the results that are not under your control? Do you usually measure the results in units like hours saved, new customers aquired etc. or more like “employees are able to do X with an effort no more that Y per week while processing Z number/percent of widgets more than before”.

Here’s my response:

When does a paid discovery project make sense?

In a past post I referred to some podcasts on value, value pricing and software development. Michael had a few questions about the podcast. These are deep questions so I thought it would be fun to answer them in a video format where I can talk through the considerations and my response.

The first question from Michael:

How and when do you recommend charging for a value conversation like in a payed discovery phase?

I am afraid that in the beginning with little practice, conversations digging for the value will lead to repeated long meetings (noooo!) and potentially a big loss of time/money. Sure qualification of prospects is a key factor but still I feel that DISCORVERING the value brings a lot of value in itself for the prospect.

Here’s my response:

The irony in reducing cost

I’ve never read a book about RFPs (requests for proposals), at least not that I remember, and I don’t think it would ever be worth it to read a book about RFPs. Judging by just about every RFP I’ve ever seen, most of the books must advise people to create excessive check lists of the things they want done. The…

Visceral reactions

At least once a week, we all have something come across our inbox (whether a voice mail, text message, email or otherwise) that triggers a visceral reaction. The reaction could lead to responding in ways that will not only be unproductive, but could make us regretful. The trick is to find a way to put enough space between the initial…