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Services:
  Mentoring
  Consulting
  Training
  Development

We Are:
  Kate (blog)
  Brian

What We Do

Some of our clients don't want us to create any software at all, or a web site either. They want advice: should we do this or that? Which product is best for us? How should we manage the migration to a new tool? We've been providing advice and consulting for three decades, and because we don't sell software or hardware, only our own services, you can trust the advice we give you. After all, you pay for it directly, so you don't need to worry that we're overcharging for anything else to cover the free advice. Why not get in touch and see if we can help? If you think you need advice on a sporadic or regular basis, check out our Mentoring services.

Which Microsoft technologies are worth adopting?

We enjoy a delightful relationship with Microsoft, employing a Regional Director and MVP, participating in multiple betas, alphas, and so on. We know what's coming next, and we've already started working with it. We can save you from investing a lot of time and work learning a technology without a future, and we can speed your learning of the new one, too.

What would be the best architecture for this project?

There are so many ways to put software together. Should you write a Windows or a Web application, or both? Should your mobile applications be written in native code, or with a library that lets you use one code base on multiple platforms? Do Web Services come into this? Will SQL Reporting Services save time on this project? How can you support both SQL and Oracle data stores with the same code base? How can you reuse your existing C++ or VB 6 code and bring it onto the .NET Framework without porting it all to C#? We can help you tackle these questions and many more. We've been through it before and we can share our experience with you. (If you want help getting it implemented, we are do-ers as well as advisors.)

Mentoring

Technology changes incredibly fast these days and for many organizations, traditional training and books just don't work when you need to keep up with such fast change. Our mentoring program is designed to help software developers (individuals or teams) cope with this rate of change. Mentoring is a short-term involvement that brings new skills into your group or raises the skill level of an existing team. We provide on-site, on-the-job technical advice and tutoring, or if you prefer, you can send someone to us to learn! Our mentors draw on their instructing experience, certified technical knowledge and vast exposure to real IT projects so they help your staff to meet goals quickly and efficiently.

What's the Difference Between Mentoring and Consulting?

So many firms, with wildly varying business models, describe themselves as consultants and their offerings as consulting. Some of them have an army of suit-wearing developers that they send to your office day after day, week after week, charging you for all their time no matter what's accomplished, running your project, and leaving you in pretty much the same state they found you -- except you've spent a lot of money and perhaps you have a completed project. Others use the word to describe an independent practitioner who joins your firm almost as a member of staff, bringing a very specific skill that you need for months or years, and who has no clients other than you. There's very little advice-giving or information transfer in the process. Still others, mostly management consultants in my experience, come in with their army of suits, tell you what you should do, and leave -- they don't implement, they only advise!

We offer a variety of services to our clients. What we call consulting is giving people advice, making suggestions for what people should do, and so on. We also offer programming and web development, where we create software or a web site for you that meets your requirements and helps to solve your business problems. And separate from those services, we offer mentoring. Mentoring is about boosting skill and productivity levels with one-on-one contact. Oh yes, we advise, we suggest, we even lead sometimes, and it's all focused on making your developers better positioned to solve your business problems going forward. A successful mentoring project is all about knowledge transfer.

How can You Arrange a Consulting Program?

Just call or email us and discuss your circumstances: how many people need to learn, what do they need to learn, when do they need to start using the new skills? We'll work something out that will get you productive as quickly as possible.