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kenzdawg

Anyone Ever Commissioned A Piece Of Software?

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I'm thinking of hiring a developer to create a web API for an Amazon Marketplace Web Service (with IAM) that would allow me to write inventory into a third party user's seller account then create a FBA shipment.

If that sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about you might be dead right. Any tips or thoughts on how to go about it would be very welcome.

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I'm thinking of hiring a developer to create a web API for an Amazon Marketplace Web Service (with IAM) that would allow me to write inventory into a third party user's seller account then create a FBA shipment.

If that sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about you might be dead right. Any tips or thoughts on how to go about it would be very welcome.

Yes... kindof.... DIY in the evenings or as part of the day job.

Writing software is time consuming, and (we) charge people alot for the privilege. A British contractor will cost you between £200 and £700 a day, the good ones tend to be above 350 a day (but if you don't know software development from your elbow your going to struggle to tell the difference between the good ones, and the ones that are Bullshitting you).

Alternatively....On the upside, there are people and companies who will do the work for much less at a fixed price..... a struggling British student, a kid from the Ukraine, a dude from South America, a small team in India/China...

The question is do you trust that:

1. They will deliver

2. They wont put a back door into the API/Service that will fob you off?

3. Don't Steal your idea

Personally as a software developer I would recommend you just doing it yourself.... or lean how to do it yourself. Get yourself on YouTube or Plural-sight and learn how to code and just do it. Writing an API is relatively straight forward if that's all you want to do, and being close to the problem and the solution will really help. DIY

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Thanks for your reply.

Alternatively....On the upside, there are people and companies who will do the work for much less at a fixed price..... a struggling British student, a kid from the Ukraine, a dude from South America, a small team in India/China...

The question is do you trust that:

1. They will deliver

2. They wont put a back door into the API/Service that will fob you off?

3. Don't Steal your idea

Personally as a software developer I would recommend you just doing it yourself.... or lean how to do it yourself. Get yourself on YouTube or Plural-sight and learn how to code and just do it. Writing an API is relatively straight forward if that's all you want to do, and being close to the problem and the solution will really help. DIY

An Indian BPO outsourcing firm will probably be where'll I'll go. I have a budget of a few thousand, but I do worry about being sold a pile of dogsh!t that will have to be expensively fixed/replaced. I wish I could do it myself, I simply don't have the time to learn (a 1000 hours for basic competency, they say). I think I can grasp the core principles though, so any pointers towards web service design in general or BPO outsourcing is very welcome.

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Just a thought. Does off the shelf software already exist. There is stuff like Linnworks which integrates with Ebay/Amazon etc manages inventories, updates listings and has lots of shipping options.

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I've commissioned software.

Well, kind-of. Google paid, through their "summer of code" programme. My role has been to propose projects and then to mentor the students.

Moral: there's more than one way to commission software. B)

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Are you essentially looking to list non tech-savvy businesses' products on Amazon and then have them ship it, without realising where it was sold, and then you take a cut?

To integrate orders from ebay with our existing shipping software, I seem to remember, cost around £20k and even then it frequently went into meltdown with large order volumes or, apparently, if ebay changed something their end. This was through the company that installed the system we already had for our own mail order sales (pre-online selling). It's got much better as I think they've sold it in to other clients after (probably) rinsing us as the first that wanted it.

I would abandon selling on ebay immediately if it wasn't so good for getting top money for the discontinued lines

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Thanks for your reply.

An Indian BPO outsourcing firm will probably be where'll I'll go. I have a budget of a few thousand, but I do worry about being sold a pile of dogsh!t that will have to be expensively fixed/replaced. I wish I could do it myself, I simply don't have the time to learn (a 1000 hours for basic competency, they say). I think I can grasp the core principles though, so any pointers towards web service design in general or BPO outsourcing is very welcome.

Stick to a local person! Since you admit to knowing not too much about this stuff, you need constant discussion! The Indians will produce exactly what you asked for. It may not be what you want! :blink:

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I'm thinking of hiring a developer to create a web API for an Amazon Marketplace Web Service (with IAM) that would allow me to write inventory into a third party user's seller account then create a FBA shipment.

If that sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about you might be dead right. Any tips or thoughts on how to go about it would be very welcome.

I recall there being quite a few good tips in this thread... http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=184460

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I recall there being quite a few good tips in this thread... http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=184460

Yep and a few were from me..

You really don't want to go abroad for this type of work at the moment as unless you know how to identify whether the developer is no good it will be too late before you find out. Plus they will deliver exactly what you ask for knowing that you will have no choice but to pay more to get it correct (heck I have enough problems with english contractors doing that).

The first thing you need to do is to break down in little steps what needs to be done so its possible to estimate what you actually want done....

There is a recent article about IT freelance recruitment which discussed how to test a freelancer and ensure they know what they are doing. I'll dig it up (as my initial research has drawn blanks) but the actual idea is simple, take a very small piece of work advertise it on the freelancer sites, pay them to complete it and check the results. That way you don't invest a fortune to discover they can't do it.

PM if you want any advise, I don't however think I have the capacity to do the work until April though..

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Stick to a local person! Since you admit to knowing not too much about this stuff, you need constant discussion! The Indians will produce exactly what you asked for. It may not be what you want! :blink:

+1

Distance is a big issue and introduces lot of opportunities for mis-communication.

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Oh, and steer clear of anyone who acts/looks like a rockstar - worked on zillions of interesting projects, always taking a lead in the team, yet constantly moving from job to job. They're poison.

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Yep and a few were from me..

You really don't want to go abroad for this type of work at the moment as unless you know how to identify whether the developer is no good it will be too late before you find out. Plus they will deliver exactly what you ask for knowing that you will have no choice but to pay more to get it correct (heck I have enough problems with english contractors doing that).

The first thing you need to do is to break down in little steps what needs to be done so its possible to estimate what you actually want done....

There is a recent article about IT freelance recruitment which discussed how to test a freelancer and ensure they know what they are doing. I'll dig it up (as my initial research has drawn blanks) but the actual idea is simple, take a very small piece of work advertise it on the freelancer sites, pay them to complete it and check the results. That way you don't invest a fortune to discover they can't do it.

PM if you want any advise, I don't however think I have the capacity to do the work until April though..

At a risk of taking this thread off at a tangent I purely coincidentally, whilst visiting this Off-Topic Forum today, happen to have a software 'development' issue of my own, rumbling around in th eback of my head - and this thread jogged my memory again.

I did once a very long time ago do a little bit of programming - but stopped completely and totally in 1997! Today things have changed/progressed so much and I have forgotten virtually everything but the most basic principles. Today I look at code and it may as well be Sanskrit.

I happen to have a respectable size potentially commercially viable and still useful Win32 software project developed (itself originally from a project written in MS-BASIC 7.1). The last successful compilation was done using Visual C++ 5.0 - in 1997. I was the last remaining member of the project team to take 'custody' of it - and now own all rights to the code.

A few years ago, when I came across the disks, I managed to obtain Visual C++ 6.0 and for the hell of it tried to compile - but it failed abysmally and threw up loads of fatal errors. This made me realise, as I guessed in advance would be the case, that the code would be woefully incompatible and need updating to todays MS Visual C++ standards. I believe the correct term is that, over the years, a lot of the standards/functions/etc from VC++ 5.0 have been 'deprecated' ?? Whatever.

Bottom line is that, I too would love to get my hand on someone who could 'port' this nominally complete and working application to modern MS-VC++ - so that it can be used once again on todays modern Windows OS (e.g. Windows 7). Then, once that is done, the application could be 'modernised' in respect of its GUI and graphics, etc.

Project size is 100+ source files (plus corresponding header files, etc). The compiled standalone EXE is about 3Mb in size. The application is nominally an engineering 'number crunching' application (i.e. numbers in, turn the handle, data out) with primitive 'line graphics' for data charts and 3D displays of the objects being analysed (i.e. not even OpenGL standards).

Anyone wanna suggest where to look, how much I might have to pay?

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+1

Distance is a big issue and introduces lot of opportunities for mis-communication.

Monsieur Dilbert! Agreeing with the Pin, is a bad career choice! :blink: I know a bloke who does rather good web pages, not so much a technical bloke, but has a good eye for design.

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At a risk of taking this thread off at a tangent I purely coincidentally, whilst visiting this Off-Topic Forum today, happen to have a software 'development' issue of my own, rumbling around in th eback of my head - and this thread jogged my memory again.

I did once a very long time ago do a little bit of programming - but stopped completely and totally in 1997! Today things have changed/progressed so much and I have forgotten virtually everything but the most basic principles. Today I look at code and it may as well be Sanskrit.

I happen to have a respectable size potentially commercially viable and still useful Win32 software project developed (itself originally from a project written in MS-BASIC 7.1). The last successful compilation was done using Visual C++ 5.0 - in 1997. I was the last remaining member of the project team to take 'custody' of it - and now own all rights to the code.

A few years ago, when I came across the disks, I managed to obtain Visual C++ 6.0 and for the hell of it tried to compile - but it failed abysmally and threw up loads of fatal errors. This made me realise, as I guessed in advance would be the case, that the code would be woefully incompatible and need updating to todays MS Visual C++ standards. I believe the correct term is that, over the years, a lot of the standards/functions/etc from VC++ 5.0 have been 'deprecated' ?? Whatever.

Bottom line is that, I too would love to get my hand on someone who could 'port' this nominally complete and working application to modern MS-VC++ - so that it can be used once again on todays modern Windows OS (e.g. Windows 7). Then, once that is done, the application could be 'modernised' in respect of its GUI and graphics, etc.

Project size is 100+ source files (plus corresponding header files, etc). The compiled standalone EXE is about 3Mb in size. The application is nominally an engineering 'number crunching' application (i.e. numbers in, turn the handle, data out) with primitive 'line graphics' for data charts and 3D displays of the objects being analysed (i.e. not even OpenGL standards).

Anyone wanna suggest where to look, how much I might have to pay?

Oh and one other point is that it would have to be compatible with 64-bit OS, so as to be able to use more than 4Gb RAM. I hope that alone won't imply a major rewrite of the code? and that issue only requires isolated 'tweaking' here and there?

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Thanks again for the constructive answers.

I readily admit that software development management is beyond my kenneth, which is why I'm worried that sending vague/incoherent/incomplete specifications to a developer is an invitation to get fleeced. That said, these lectures are helpful in defining the problem. I'd be interested to know if there are requirement analysts or specification drafters one could hire separate from the coders and quality control. Surely the market is advanced enough for these specialisms to exist?

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I'd be interested to know if there are requirement analysts or specification drafters one could hire separate from the coders and quality control. Surely the market is advanced enough for these specialisms to exist?

Once you start introducing that kind of split, you're into big money.

One further thought from me: might your job be a good "fit" for any existing open source project? If so, try approaching the relevant open source community. If you're lucky, you might get some developer who's expert in the field interested, and happy to work constructively with you on making it do what you really need. And if you don't, nothing lost!

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Stick to a local person! Since you admit to knowing not too much about this stuff, you need constant discussion! The Indians will produce exactly what you asked for. It may not be what you want! :blink:

+1. I've seen this many times - what you specify is exactly what you get. With absolutely no common sense applied to what you meant, what common sense implied should have been built, or whether as described it will actually interface with the remote APIs correctly.

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Thanks again for the constructive answers.

I readily admit that software development management is beyond my kenneth, which is why I'm worried that sending vague/incoherent/incomplete specifications to a developer is an invitation to get fleeced. That said, these lectures are helpful in defining the problem. I'd be interested to know if there are requirement analysts or specification drafters one could hire separate from the coders and quality control. Surely the market is advanced enough for these specialisms to exist?

I think by paying someone to define the spec you're simply adding multiple layers of opportunity for failure.

You get person A to write a spec. You're not able to review the spec completely, because if you were able to spot every single flaw in a complete spec then chances are you could have written it yourself.

You send spec to person B, who does exactly what it says.

You get the software back, have to pay persons A and B, and then argue/mediate between them about whether any failures are a problem in the spec, the code, both or neither.

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I'm thinking of hiring a developer to create a web API for an Amazon Marketplace Web Service (with IAM) that would allow me to write inventory into a third party user's seller account then create a FBA shipment.

If that sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about you might be dead right. Any tips or thoughts on how to go about it would be very welcome.

Some developers and houses specialise in certain things. If a client had asked me for this, I'd have spent a while hunting around on their behalf to see if such a thing already exists. If it doesn't, I'd try to find someone in that proverbial "domain" who has developed something similar.

Are you essentially looking to list non tech-savvy businesses' products on Amazon and then have them ship it, without realising where it was sold, and then you take a cut?

To integrate orders from ebay with our existing shipping software, I seem to remember, cost around £20k and even then it frequently went into meltdown with large order volumes or, apparently, if ebay changed something their end. This was through the company that installed the system we already had for our own mail order sales (pre-online selling). It's got much better as I think they've sold it in to other clients after (probably) rinsing us as the first that wanted it.

I would abandon selling on ebay immediately if it wasn't so good for getting top money for the discontinued lines

Oddly enough, a client has just asked me for exactly this. I hadn't got around to pricing it yet ;)

At a risk of taking this thread off at a tangent I purely coincidentally, whilst visiting this Off-Topic Forum today, happen to have a software 'development' issue of my own, rumbling around in th eback of my head - and this thread jogged my memory again.

I did once a very long time ago do a little bit of programming - but stopped completely and totally in 1997! Today things have changed/progressed so much and I have forgotten virtually everything but the most basic principles. Today I look at code and it may as well be Sanskrit.

I happen to have a respectable size potentially commercially viable and still useful Win32 software project developed (itself originally from a project written in MS-BASIC 7.1). The last successful compilation was done using Visual C++ 5.0 - in 1997. I was the last remaining member of the project team to take 'custody' of it - and now own all rights to the code.

A few years ago, when I came across the disks, I managed to obtain Visual C++ 6.0 and for the hell of it tried to compile - but it failed abysmally and threw up loads of fatal errors. This made me realise, as I guessed in advance would be the case, that the code would be woefully incompatible and need updating to todays MS Visual C++ standards. I believe the correct term is that, over the years, a lot of the standards/functions/etc from VC++ 5.0 have been 'deprecated' ?? Whatever.

Bottom line is that, I too would love to get my hand on someone who could 'port' this nominally complete and working application to modern MS-VC++ - so that it can be used once again on todays modern Windows OS (e.g. Windows 7). Then, once that is done, the application could be 'modernised' in respect of its GUI and graphics, etc.

Project size is 100+ source files (plus corresponding header files, etc). The compiled standalone EXE is about 3Mb in size. The application is nominally an engineering 'number crunching' application (i.e. numbers in, turn the handle, data out) with primitive 'line graphics' for data charts and 3D displays of the objects being analysed (i.e. not even OpenGL standards).

Anyone wanna suggest where to look, how much I might have to pay?

Please tell me this doesn't have something to do with Lindo API.I spent months on that thing once getting it to forecast the world commodities markets. All it produced in the end was a massive matrix of numbers which the client was very pleased with. What it all meant I do not know.

Actually it dounds like an interesting little project and it's nice in so far as all the specification has already been done.

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Please tell me this doesn't have something to do with Lindo API.I spent months on that thing once getting it to forecast the world commodities markets. All it produced in the end was a massive matrix of numbers which the client was very pleased with. What it all meant I do not know.

Actually it dounds like an interesting little project and it's nice in so far as all the specification has already been done.

I assume you're referring to my VC++ 5.0 'legacy' code?

No nothing to do with Lindo. No idea what that is.

Merely is as described. An old 'engineering' software application (last run on WindowsNT 4 and Windows2000). Can't be run anymore now on modern Windows OS's - and so needs to be 'updated' by getting it compiled using later versions of MS-VC++. I'm led to understand that to run on current Windows OS's this will require compiling with Visual C++ 2005 as a minimum?

The point is that I have no idea what is required to be changed in the code. Is it likely to be just some isolated changes of syntax or wholesale changes to nearly all of the source/header files?

Bearing in mind that it is largely a 'number crunching' application (i.e. numbers in -> algorithm applied -> numbers out) and so a formula/equation will still be coded in the same way today as then? Then I am hoping the challenge/task will be the former and not the latter.

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