It’s Not Easy To Be A Software Developer

Being a software developer is definitely a job which pays very well most of the time. However, at the same time it’s the kind of a job where rules of the game changes every now and then. New people who enter the field of software development often ignores this fact and quickly realizes that even though software is meant to simplify lot of tasks, developing that software itself is not an easy task. It’s important to know what makes software development so dynamic and what we need to do to survive in this field.

The world around us keeps of changing rapidly. This results in change in government policies, increase or decrease in certain demands and eventually the changes in business rules. As software is nothing but a model of the real world, it also has to change along with the change in business rules. Due to this, requirements of the software being developed changes pretty often which eventually forces developers to make changes to source codes quite frequently. While making sure that software satisfy the needs of its user, developers also have to keep themselves updated with the latest technologies.

As software technology is a growing field, there is an ongoing race of technologies in the market. According to the article “Java is becoming the new Cobol” by Bill Snyder, Java is now losing its popularity due to the competition from other new technologies like PHP or Ruby on rails. Bill also mentions in his article that many developers feel that Java actually slows their software development process. On the other hand, the technology or language that could be used for a particular domain cannot be used for other domains. So software developers have to work hard to keep themselves updated with different technologies. If they don’t do so, then they will eventually end up losing their jobs.

If you want to grow in your career as a software developer, you should be able to code your software such that it will be easy to modify according to the changes in its specifications. You should also know how to keep yourself updated with the new technologies and methodologies that help you in developing better software application. Regular and active participation in forums related to software development and getting involved in open source projects will help you to develop a better career as software developer.

Reference:

Java is becoming the new Cobol by Bill Snyder (http://www.infoworld.com/archives/emailPrint.jsp?R=printThis&A=/article/07/12/28/52FE-underreported-java_1.html)

CRM Software Selection – The Basics

Installing a good CRM software package is the cornerstone of any customer relationship management program. Without good software, gathering and storing the multitude of details gained about a customer from each interaction would be very difficult.

Small business CRM systems has gone ahead in leaps bounds in recent years, with several top quality packages now available to choose from. Prior to beginning the search for good CRM software technology however, there are a few basic features you should seek in a potential CRM package:

· Basic Functions: The CRM software should manage data relating to both individuals and companies and it should also provide time management features. As most businesses use Microsoft Office, including Outlook, the CRM package should offer seamless integration with MS Office and/or fax software, as the ability to compose letters, faxes and email without leaving the CRM software is vital.

· Recognised CRM Software Supplier: Do your research. Make sure your proposed CRM software supplier is recognised in the industry and has a solid backing with reputable customer testimonials and reliable 24/7 technical support.

· 360 Degree Customer View: It is important to know which people work for the same company; who said, emailed or wrote what to whom, and when. These details need to be a single click away. Does the CRM package you are considering provide this 360-degree view?

· Seamless Connectivity: These days it is becoming more and more common for a growing business and its mobile workforce to utilise networked access to a central database, to mobile phones, and to PDAs. You need to ensure your CRM software package supports all the connectivity required by your company.

· Managing Campaigns: In order to optimize your business marketing dollars, tracking of marketing campaigns and measuring their performance is critical. You will need a CRM package which provides this function.

· Managing Leads: If you want sales opportunities to become closed sales, tracking leads is of prime importance. Make sure you select CRM software which provides lead tracking.

· Data Transfer: Unless you are starting a business from scratch, you will probably need to import information from previous software. Make sure you will be able to import directly, instead of spending hours processing the data through an intermediate stage or even worse, manually. You will also need the ability to export data in order to exchange information with businesses who might use another CRM software package.

· External Support: To get the most from any CRM package, you will find tips from fellow users, industry-specific templates, plug-ins to be vital. Make sure the package you are considering is well-known and supported.

CRM gurus Dr Martha Rogers and Don Peppers say that practising good CRM means you need to develop a one-to-one learning relationship with each customer, over four stages:

· Identification

· Differentiation

· Interaction

· Interaction

It’s about treating different customers differently. It requires a shift in thinking, perseverance, discipline, and very good CRM software.

It will take you many interactions with a customer to improve identification of their details. You will need many customers before you can place them in different segments and cater to their needs by segment. It may take even longer before you know enough to customise individual offerings.

So get researching, and flush out the very best computer CRM software technology suitable to your business. Without it, you are certain to be pushing up hill in your quest to run a successful customer relationship management program.

Common Mistakes of YMCA Software Selection

The largest YMCA and YWCA organizations in North America rely on robust software packages to help manage everything from program registrations, facility reservations and child care scheduling to membership management, donation and payment processing, and Web site content management. To find the right software for your YMCA, there are a few common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

  1. Copycat Selection. Just because other YMCAs are selecting a particular software package doesn’t mean that you should too. Evaluate why they’re selecting certain software, how it’s meeting their needs, what the total cost of ownership is, and whether or not they would buy the same software if given the chance all over again. If relying on industry peers for advice, make sure to ask the important questions to see if your criteria closely aligns with theirs.
  2. Focus on Features. Features are great. Poor customer service support or high maintenance costs are not. Just because a software package may be feature-rich (think fundraising integration, automated emails, etc.), doesn’t mean it’s the right software solution for your YMCA. Make sure the software meets your other requirements, including scalability, ease of use, budget friendly, 24/7 customer service support and customizable options. You’ll want a software solution that can grow as your YMCA grows without interruption in service, data access or overall business continuity.
  3. Stranger Companies. It’s important to know the software company you’ll be partnering with. Do your due diligence and look into financial data, company news, customer testimonials and case studies, product data sheets, and accessibility of company contact information. The more positive information you can find, the more established the company likely is.
  4. Solo Pursuit. Don’t take on the software selection process on your own or just with a group of department heads. Instead, involve other staff members in setting the criteria, developing questions and evaluating software packages. This not only ensures that you are selecting a software solution that will meet the needs of the entire organization, it will also help drive adoption of the new software technology, as staff will feel personally involved in the organizational change.
  5. Hidden Future Fees. Know the total cost of ownership of the YMCA software from the outset. Just because a software solution requires no out-of-pocket expense doesn’t mean it is the most cost-effective solution for the long-term. Understand all fees, now and in the future, required to own and operate the software. Additional fees may include annual license fees, maintenance costs, training fees, IT investments, customer service support fees, upgrade charges and usage costs. Understand the total costs of each software packages now, a year from now, and five years from now, before making your selection.
  6. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Technology. Beware of investing in a dying breed of technology, such as outdated platforms, operating system or databases. Older technologies may no longer be supported or taught, and may even cause major issues when trying to upgrade. On the other end of the spectrum, you should also beware of technologies that are too new, as they have not yet proven their effectiveness and your YMCA may be faced with navigating around technology bugs and errors. Look for a software company with a proven track record for developing new software versions and upgrading customers without difficulty.
  7. Complex = Robust. Complex software does not translate to feature-rich or robust software. It translates to being complex. Know what you need to achieve your desired results and don’t buy anything more. You will not only be spending money that doesn’t need to spent, you’ll also be giving staff members more to do and learn that they wouldn’t ordinarily need to with their current workload. Implement only the software solutions you need right away and, with a scalable solution, you can add on other features you want in the future without difficulty.