Some weeks ago a client approached us because he wanted some assistance with his IT infrastructure. The client has many systems that interact with each other and are quite tightly coupled. Due to some upcoming changes in their business, the time had come to start thinking about how to improve their architecture. One of the goals of the project was that they wanted the ability to decouple the systems so that they could change systems independently of each other. Our solution ended up being a really powerful combination of Apache Camel and Scala.
Quality software, qualified personel, staying up to date with the newest technologies, delivering better and faster, always learning, always improving, always striving to making better software… Those are just some of the things Avisi stands for. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you would know these things are an important part of our lives!
But what about the human factor? Maybe that’s not adressed in these pages enough… But man is it important!
Yesterday, march 6th 2012, my colleague Barri Jansen and I attended Valori’s “thema avond” (theme night). The subject for the evening was “New generation software for automated testing”. The event was held at Microsoft headquarters in the Netherlands, which is located almost on top of the runway at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
A lot of software development companies try to discern (to be noticed). A few companies are able to define (or redefine) software development. Discern mostly is about variations on a theme. Define involves taking a risk and be truly different.
Successful software requires more than just good programming. Next to a good idea to start with, you need marketing, sales etc. But that is not where I am going today. The thing you need most is patience.
Software marketing must be the easiest thing to do. Everything from the offering to the actual delivery takes place online. And we’ve got awesome tools to reach out to people today. So why exactly is it so hard to find a good software marketer?
Here is a list of 5 things to consider when looking for a software marketer:
Start marketing before you hire the first marketer. Start using social media, blog, go to events, organize events, be creative. Fail often, it is the only way to learn what you are looking for in the person you are going to hire.
Don’t look for a social media rock star (only). Social media often is about shouting and it’s very hard to turn that into marketing.
Look for someone that understands your product or service. THAT is where the marketing starts: a good product. Succes, including the success of the use of social media, is about the product.
Look for a facilitator. But also check if they are willing to help stuff the boxes if goodies need to be sent out or to make coffee for that important breakfast session that was organized. Someone that goes the extra mile (not to be confused with extra hours).
Don’t expect the marketer to do the marketing. What is that? We are looking for somebody to do the work aren’t we? Well, she can’t. At least, not on her own. You are not excused when it comes to marketing tasks. Every single person on your team is part of the marketing.
Did these tips work for us? I can’t tell: we are still looking. If you are interested or do know somebody that is, let me know!
About books with best practices: they are a great source of inspiration, wisdom, experience, etc… The downside is that the bigger the area where you apply the best practice, the more mediocre the solution might be for your particular situation. The best practice might be a common denominator of many practices in many different situations. Best practices are good, just be critical about them.