Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers

Of all the social stuff going on on the web these days, I find del.icio.us
to be one of the consistently most exciting. They’re always coming up
with great new ideas (although they could use a few more servers) and
the your network feature frequently turns up interesting stuff.

Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers is a recent find, well worth a read. It’s in the vein of something you’d expect to find on John Lim or Joel Spolsky‘s sites, but there are a few new tasty angles.… Read the rest

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How to price your tech services?

I was googling around to see what folks are charging for the range of services software devs offer. Although some humorous sites (a must read) are amongst the top results returned, how to price one’s services is of course a serious question.

One categorisation of services could be as follows:

  • consultancy
  • training
  • software development
  • support
    • ad-hoc
    • packages

For me the list runs from most difficult to easiest, and I charge accordingly.  Consultancy general involves technology recommendations, project specification, business analysis, etc, and the kind of input you can give after say 10 years experience is considerably different to what you might have offered after 5.

Next is training, and the reason I’ve put that higher than run-of-the-mill development is that preparation is involved.  For a 1/2 day or 3 day course considerable prep work is involved.  Subject matter can cover any software or platform you’re an expert on, but ideally you want to be teaching something that you built that you know better than anyone else.

In third position is regular software development; the more I do of this the more I see it as generic implementation – a commodity, and therefore chargeable at a lower rate.  Given a skilled team, … Read the rest

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How to track conversions using WordPress

Are you using WordPress for your blog?  Who isn’t 🙂

But a fairly simple sounding task like tracking conversions for Adwords campaigns actually requires a bit of work.  Here is the system I found works best, you can get it up and running in only a few minutes.

The goal is to be able to track when contact enquiries result from a paid campaign.  I’m using this systems at http://seagullsystems.com.

  • the contact form plugin you need is cForms, version 1.5 or later (scroll down past the pluses, big banner on left hand side)
  • install the plugin, you will probably need to create the file abspath.php manually
  • configure a basic contact form, for example name it “my_form”
  • insert the form in your relevant page by pasting the html comment <!–cforms name=”my_form”–
  • in the cformII options panel select Form Settings
  • make 2 settings:
    • disable the Ajax mode in the first section
    • in the Core Form Admin / Email Options section, tick Enable alternative success page (redirect) and enter a Thanks page URL you previously created inWordpress
  • in your Thanks page paste your conversion javascript code provided by Adwords

And that’s it!  Any probs please mention in the comments.… Read the rest

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