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how important is programming

royemunson

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Jul 24, 2007
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You know I have some ideas for web companies that would involve mroe than just HTML and such.

Do you guys recommend learning various programming skills and
languages or do you hire out/buy scripts and such???

I'm toying with this area and determining what I should do myself or what I shoudl contract out to free up time.

Thanks

Joe
 
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MJ DeMarco

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For me, this is an age old question. Originally I learned everything and it served me well.

I had some bad experiences with contract developers in India and it really soured me.

The answer to your question depends on the complexity of your application. As it gets more complicated, you really should hire/partner with the trustworthy people that are experts in computer programming. That, in itself, is a major project as you want someone who will be with you for the long haul... not architect something for 3 months and then bail out on you, leaving you with a 1/2 finished app that someone else has to decode.
 

royemunson

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Jul 24, 2007
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I knew what your position was so I figured your answer and thanks.

I am also an accountant and sometimes reading/learning programming is cool
but I have to do it in small amts b/c it's like reading about accounting.

With the complexities, I figured what you said, to possible find a partner to work with.

I have some contacts, so maybe that will work???

Joe
 

AroundTheWorld

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Big Fan of Partnering

I used to be a Jane of All Trades. I was coming from a place of scarcity. I didn't have enough money to pay a professional, so I would learn to do it myself.

This is also a "think small" mentality.... the do-it-yourself idea.

Don't get me wrong... I still do it myself on occasion, and there are times that that is the best/only way to get off the ground...

But if you can, find the professional. In the end, your project will be much more successful.

We all have strenghts and weaknesses. Know them, and find partners to compliment you...
 
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emorgan

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Jul 24, 2007
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Phoenix, AZ
Control

The most important thing with any business I have been involved with online for me has been the level of control I have.

If I know code, and if I have control over my site, that gives me an edge in business and the ability to solve problems quickly and most cost effectively.

If it is a project that is beyond my scope of knowledge, I know enough now to use the best- who are not found at bargain prices. You really get what you pay for online, it seems.

I have heard many stories like MJ's, because the project was out of the persons hands and into someone elses.

A good friend of mine here in Phx has a software engineering company; he is amazing- has done work for everyone from Ford to the Department of Defense, and won multiple prestigious awards. They have had to come in and clean up many a mess that was made- often by a team of 30-100 engineers that botched things up- and were effectively replaced by my friend and 3 other people who knew what they were doing. Amazing. We have seen people spend millions of dollars and end up with a product that is useless.

In my opinion, you need to have a high level of control, and if you hire out spent the money and hire the best of the best.

<end rant>
 

MJ DeMarco

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ATW is right in that "doing it yourself" is really thinking small. If you really want to scale into something large, DIY has its limitations.

On the other hand, Erin has the counterargument hit that the DIYer has control .... that has always been my problem from day one. I'm a control freak and I like control! With that DIY control, comes limitations in growth.
 

royemunson

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Jul 24, 2007
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That's the funny thing about the web. If systems are set up appropriately, you can still make a lot of money without a lot of work (after the system is up and running).

Everyone makes valid points. I have seen people be quite successful outsourcing everything and seen people do just as well doing it themselves b/c of the leverage the web can provide.

Thanks for input everyone

Joe
 
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Luke12321

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Jul 27, 2007
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When building a business online, systems are a must indeed. My friend and I once started a website that looked just as good as the others but we had no plan or system in place to get the idea off the ground. It never did get off the ground and we lost a small amount of money but several weeks of our life. It was a lesson well learned....plan your business and have systems in place before you take it public! :)
 

ToddW

New Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
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California
When building a business online, systems are a must indeed. My friend and I once started a website that looked just as good as the others but we had no plan or system in place to get the idea off the ground. It never did get off the ground and we lost a small amount of money but several weeks of our life. It was a lesson well learned....plan your business and have systems in place before you take it public! :)

Over the years I have learned that you need to plan each and every website as if they were their own business, no matter how small the site. I realized that the sites I had written about during my college classes did better because I had drawn out sure-fire plans.

As far as hiring a web programmer goes, I would say YES hire someone but you should also know the basics so you know what's a fair price and time estimate.

When I first started getting into more advanced websites I paid an Indian company to make a site like ebates.com (It was not popular/known to me when I launched mine.) for me. I spent $2000 and had a functional site but as the time went by I realized I wanted to keep adding features. Not having any money (I think I was 15 years old at the time) and the site not making anything I couldn't afford to continue to update the site :( This is when I decided if I wanted to succeed with all my crazy website ideas that I needed to program sites myself.

Today, nearly 10 years later I still do 99% of the programming and am trying ever so hard to find a reliable programmer that I can hire to do it all for me.

Now I'm all about my ideas and getting them launched and running as soon as possible. My time is better spent working on business related issues than being part of the technical side.


Good programmers are VERY hard to come by. Once you find one don't let go!
 

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