Phenology: Zero

— Bryan Allred

It is the end of the year and time for some internal assessments and reflections! This is an extremely high overview of our internal workings over the last year to give an idea where we currently stand. Overall things look pretty good since not all of the herd is full-time and all of our business has been acquired from word-of-mouth!


Project Description Date Duration
CHESS Consultant on the U.S. Army Computer Hardware Enterprise Software and Solutions project. Oct 2012 9 months
EKS ARSAPTS Consultant on the U.S. Army Reserve Staff Action Process Tracking System project. Nov 2012 8 months
jquery-analytics jQuery plug-in to provide custom analytics. For those of us who can not use Google Analytics at work or just want to dork with something else. Mar 2013 1 month
EKS KSS Consultant on the U.S. Army Reserve Knowledge Software and Support project. May 2013 2 months
SAMEDI Safety report system for a variety of industries. May 2013 2 months
CMMI Consultant Consultant assisting in the CMMI process acquisition and audits. Jul 2013 1 month
ScanR Web application accepting multiple sources of vulnerability reports. Users may then digest the information with informative reports and other analytics. Dec 2013 3 months
Ready Resume iPhone application with accompanying website provide an easy to use resume system. The application makes aides in the ability to easily distribute resumes as well as assist in recruitment. Dec 2013 5 months


Removed from the public version.


What went right…

  1. Freedom - The main goal of this venture had been to free ourselves and let us grow in ways we choose. For the most part this was accomplished. During the year there were periods an extended absence was necessary and completely within the realm of reason. Normal working circumstances this may be very difficult to accomplish not just with the amount of time away from work but also financially.
  2. Variety - A wide variety of projects came across our whiteboards. In fact, we developed in most of the major programming languages and on each of the major types of operating systems (Windows, Apple, and Linux) and their offspring (iOS, Android, and Surface Pro). In the typical grind of a developer you tend to stay in one focused area which can go stale in cycles. Actually deviating from your comfort zone is rewarding and boosts self-confidence in your abilities while still keeping things fun!
  3. Estimates - Part of the job is to bid for projects as needed. Typically they come in a form of level of effort and costs. For those quotes we were selected for the estimates were dead-on. There is still room for improvement as far service appreciation but the profits are there alongside good workmanship.

What went wrong…

  1. Contract Disputes and Payments - There is an old saying to get everything in writing. Unfortunately that is not the whole quote and it should also state “… from the entities who write your paychecks.” So if your project manager approves a pay rate, and this pay rate is sent and approved by executives it doesn’t mean squat if the financial department is not part of the communication chain.
  2. Antique Platforms - We can’t all pick and choose our platforms and tools, and honestly sometimes you just have to suck it up and get things done. However, there are certain environments which are painful to develop in and actually seem to inhibit forward thinking and best practices. We did a lot of work in these areas this year and while it is good money and constant work it may not be worth the mental stresses.