Professional Software Consulting
Areas of Focus

"In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service."

- Steve Jobs

As technology evolves, things that used to be difficult become easier. This is especially true of software, and there are a dizzying array of tools and techniques available. Two hundred years ago, most doctors knew the same thing in terms of expertise; nowadays, the vast quantity of medical knowledge makes that impossible. So it is with technology. No one person can know everything there is to know about computers, software, hardware, architecture, trends, or innovations.

While medical research happens at a pace that is, to a certain degree, limited by the understanding of the human body, technology has no such limitation. The rate of advancement is limited only by the collective imagination of information technology professionals, and there are some very imaginative people in this industry. Tools are built to enable people to use existing tools; specifications are designed to facilitate communication concerning the new tools. Each generation of new software standardizes the handling of certain issues, thereby enabling us to handle more complex problems more quickly than ever before.

The ironic thing is, many of the problems that are being solved by software systems today are identical to problems businesses had 30 years ago. The best tools in the world won't help someone solve a problem they don't understand. This is key. I will not throw buzzwords at you and confuse the issue by speaking of the merits of this technology or that, unless it pertains to the immediate situation is some clear way.

I am experienced with many more technologies than I list on this website. The ones on which I've chosen to focus are those that enable me to rapidly build a modern system. Much of my background is in server-side programming; the things done under the hood that no one sees, but I have designed a fair amount of user interfaces too, and know how important ergonomics and flow are.

Cake or Icing?

Many people are familiar with the Dilbert comic strip, of a corporate programmer who is often in conflict with marketing. Indeed, this is sometimes seen as an irreconcilable difference: the marketers wish that "the programmers would just make what we want to sell", while the programmers wish that "the marketers would just sell what we make." Project management can be said to be the art of making these two groups happy, but much of the conflict exists because the two groups simply have different priorities.

The process of creating a software product or system can be compared to the process of creating a cake. The cake baker knows that if the cake tastes bad or is mal-formed, then it doesn't matter how pretty the icing is. No one will like the cake. There goes repeat business and word-of-mouth sales. For them, it is much wiser to invest in the cake than the icing if given the choice.

On the other hand, the cake decorator knows that no matter how good the cake is, if the colors aren't right or the display isn't visually appealing, nobody will buy the cake in the first place. No use scheduling a trade show for something your competition appears to do better. For these people, investing in the decorations and packaging is far more important than ingredients and recipes.

In terms of software, this is referred to as front-end work vs. back-end work. The back end programmers ensure the application runs properly, the front end designers make it shine. I stress this point because much of the quality of what goes on in the back-end is unseen; yet it is still critically important to the success of any software product or system.

Combining all the parts together to make a working application is oftentimes a complex integration process where square pegs must be fit into round holes. Technology today generally gives us the ability to do this, and I can do this for you.

Click on the options under the Areas Of Focus button towards the top of this screen to read more about the technologies in which Corey's Consulting specializes.

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