Content Management Systems, Webshops and Private Clouds.
As an independent small business owner, I am in the fortunate position of being able to work independently, give my clients my full attention and generally do what I enjoy. In doing so, I am constantly tinkering with ways to improve, push the envelope, act with foresight and reinvent myself with every project.
The days when conjuring up colorful pixels on the screen triggered a WOW 😲 are over. “Digital first” is here to stay and nowadays modern websites act as hub for all e-marketing activities.
Technology as inspiration, strategy as driver and creativity as purpose can create future-proof solutions.
Through interconnectivity, automation and optimization of internal processes, end users are supported to increase their productivity and to achieve their goals more efficiently. Of course location-independant – always and everywhere – in line with our modern working world.
Service and Support.
Pixel perfect programming of screen designs and components.
CMS and Web-Apps
Full-Stack-Development of Content Management systems like WordPress.
Implementation of custom Webshop systems based on WooCommerce.
Setup of self hosted Nextcloud Hubs and integration of workflows in existing systems: Private file uploads, bots, calender.
Preferably in cooperation with proven Partners who bring in creativity and a different point of view.
Innovation and quality work with much attention to detail always comes first.
Transparency and an open conversation are indispensable for a smooth cooperation.
Appreciation and trust are a sign of respectful interaction.
Punctuality and adherence to delivery dates
means keeping a promise made beforehand.
IT slang Buzzwords Bullshit Bingo Corporate cringe Unknown language Name dropping
Empty phrases, banal platitudes and false vanity do not move a project forward. Let’s just speak the same language: Honest, straightforward and on a level playing field.
Software development always starts from scratch and is an evolutionary process from planning to requirements analysis to programming, documentation and finally testing. In most cases clearly defined objectives need to be met.
Even when sketching the initial design, one must not lose sight of the basic idea: To deliver an application that makes sense, is of high quality, and will be a pleasure to the end users for years to come.
What is the process of a project?
The following story is about the development of a new website for two entrepreneurs.
From the brainstorming and negotiation process to the planning and implementation phase, the ceremonial handover and beyond.
In order to bring a project forward and to reach the finish line, it is important to question the existing, to think outside the box, to experiment with new things, to improvise if necessary and to learn from each other…
Every beginning is difficult.
The two friends Jane and John have decided to start their own business together. Now that the establishment of their company is in full swing, the two need a website to present the company to the outside world and to be able to start acquiring customers.
Their former employer and some direct competitors use Homepage builders, which, in theory, would allow them to setup a website quickly but in their experience have always reached their limits when it came to implementing specific features. And the visual quality of the available “One Fits All” templates simply doesn’t meet their high standards.
What they have in mind is a visually appealing website that is as lean as possible. In addition, they want to be able to maintain the content themselves. Search engine optimization also plays a role. In addition, a logo that matches the design would have to be designed.
Ideally, the content management system should be available without ongoing licensing costs and be usable without any restrictions. It should be modularly expandable. Data migration should also be possible. An important requirement is to automate internal processes as far as possible and to offer a self-serviced customer portal directly on the website. Since personal data is also stored, data processing and the obligation to provide information must comply with the rules of the GDPR.
Unfortunately the technical evaluation of standard software available on the market was not crowned with success and it quickly became clear that the advice and support of a professional programmer must be called upon.
In their professional life they have learned that in order to solve a problem they have to proceed analytically and that’s why they already did some internal brainstorming in which they discussed what they specifically want to achieve, what resources are needed, how much time and budget are available and who they can bring in as external consultants.
Talking brings people together.
After the specifications have been completed, the two have to get in touch with a couple of potential web developers in order to review their requirements and expectations for the new website.
Kindly, I have been recommended by a mutual acquaintance, a long-time customer of mine and after an initial non-binding meeting it has become clear that we have a similar mindset and can basically imagine working together.
Further exploratory talks are arranged.
In a follow up session the requirements are presented to me and my responsibility is to address technological issues, design language ideas, and any project goals or non-goals in a noncommittal manner.
Since this may be a larger project, we have agreed that I should set up a project manual with an approximate schedule including milestones.
Functional features and non-functional qualitative requirements will be described in the software specification. Acceptance criteria will include all conditions that must be met after delivery.
Last but not least, the expected cost framework needs to be weighed against the available budget. In the course of this, the payment modalities and the presentation of interim invoices after the achievement of project goals need to be clarified.
There’s got to be time for that
The journey continues. But before the implementation phase can start, my clients receive an official quote.
Enclosed are particular technical specifications and a draft of the project manual, i.e. technical procedures related to product development, limitations of the scope of service, definitions of the areas of responsibility of the participants and thus represents the formal basis for the cooperation.
Furthermore, a time frame with expected costs and any additional conditions are disclosed.
Everything is taken care of.
Immediately after accepting the quote, the kick-off and thus the implementation phase can be initiated.
From this point on, at the latest, the motto for everyone is “Work together, not at cross purposes”.
As usual in modern software development processes, project management, implementation and quality assurance are carried out by the same people. Autonomous self-organization with lean structures, without a strict role allocation and with the greatest possible freedom to make decisions, support an agile approach and drive creativity in the team.
Of course the two clients are actively involved and get access to the development system from day one. Iterations with frequent releases and milestone meetings in which the current status is presented helps to identify misunderstandings or deviations from the ideas. In this way, any subsequent shortcomings can be corrected as early as possible.
Transparency and an open discussion culture create trust and offer everyone the opportunity to suggest possible process optimizations so that goals can be reached much better.
All’s well that ends well!
Of course the ultimate goal should always be a successful project handover, which is complemented by an in-person training including an acceptance test where all specifications from the requirements catalog are compared with the existing technical implementation.
After the project is before the project is a typical German saying. In live operation, bugs can still occur. Thanks to an open error culture with warranty, I guarantee, for a limited period of time, unbureaucratic support beyond the launch.
Just like cars, escalators or heating systems, IT applications need to be maintained from time to time to ensure that they are safe and stable and to guarantee a flawless operation. Even if there are daily backups that can be imported eventually in the event of attacks or data loss, this always cripples business operations. And there is no guarantee that everything can be restored. Furthermore, managing directors are legally obligated to always use software that is “state of the art” in the course of the basic data protection regulation.
For this reason, it is arranged to carry out a professional website maintenance with software updates and technical enhancements from time to time. This saves nerves, resources and in the long run even money.
Good business relationships are a win-win situation, so it’s only natural that we agree to stay connected after the launch.
In the growth phase, the two young entrepreneurs can rely on a proven partnership and thus have their heads free for business-relevant things.