Cowboys…, cowboys everywhere!

One of the many joys of running a software development company, is the sales side of things. It means talking to many “different” kinds of people within the software engineering industry. Some maybe your customers and some may be your competitors. One inevitable fact of talking to many people is the stories that you come against. One of which I found interesting enough to talk about in this blog.

Cowboys..., Cowboys Everywhere Image

As a bespoke software engineering and custom web development services provider, Poole Software Limited is registered on different sites where people go to find a supplier for their software development needs. And so, every day, there are requests coming in via these platforms that bring the customer and the software engineering services supplier together. One request caught my eye and I decided to bid for it. It said, “immediate front-end development required” and listed a few technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. All of which Poole Software Limited can handle with no problem at all. In my mind I was rubbing my hands together thinking “this is a highly motivated customer and so a sale is very likely”, and so I called the “prospect”.

A guy answered the phone and went on to explain that he is also a “developer” (a software developer). I was surprised to hear that a software developer would be asking for software development services, since he can do it himself. He went on to explain what he needed “… I need a mobile-friendly page that would render well on a mobile phone with login facility…” he said. Also, he stipulated “…I would need it done in no more than five days…”. By now, my curiosity took the best of me and I asked some straight questions:

[Me]: What is the purpose of the application?

I was asked to do a mobile application for a customer, which I did for Android, but it turns out, the customer had an iPhone (iOS), which off course, won't work! :[the “developer”]

At this point I felt like doing two things. On one hand I felt like laughing out loud at how he failed the first rule in the software engineering kindergarten, by not asking the customer for the most basic requirements. On the other hand, I felt like crying out loud for the poor customer who entrusted this guy with their mobile application development project. I restrained myself though and continued…

[Me]: Why can’t you do it yourself? You are a developer, aren’t you?

I am not good with front end technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and so on. :[the “developer”]

[Me]: Ok, fair enough. But why five days? What is the rush?

Well if it takes longer, then I could probably learn it myself and do it in five days. :[the “developer”]

At this point I felt like doing the two things I mentioned earlier all over again but with much more intensity this time. On one hand I felt like laughing out loud at his naivety for thinking that in five days he can learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript AND build the application for his customer. On the other hand, I felt like crying out loud for his customer who was about to get an application that I would not touch with a bargepole.

At that point I decided to start rounding up the conversation. I could see that there was no opportunity there to help at all. But whilst hanging up the phone, I was surprised to learn that even in the software engineering there are these self-proclaimed “developers”. I knew that the building industry was suffering with this problem, but I was not aware about the severity of the problem within the software development industry. It is the same old problem, people want something done on the cheap and as quick as possible. If you need to outsource some software development services, then please read this blog post first: How To Outsource Your Software Development Project

At Poole Software Limited, we have over twelve years of commercial experience in the software engineering field. We provide bespoke software engineering and custom web development services that will meet your requirements. Our business software applications are built to a very high standard and are based on industry best practices. Give us a call today!