Developing on a Tight BudgetHow to stretch that dollar during development.
There are a lot of great ideas out there.
Yours may even be one of them.
The reality involved in putting that idea to work is often much greater than we can surmise - after all, it's hard to know what you don't know!
That's why I decided to put together this little guide. I was once a poor lad with nothing but time, smarts, and the willingness to give it everything I had. Even so, without money, I found myself in an eternal struggle trying to do things that, let's just be honest, I had neither the time or know-how to do (on a professional level, anyway).
If you cannot afford something that you need, you'll have to improvise.
A lot of times, this means rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself.
Unfortunately, things are much more complicated than they first appear. Seemingly simple things can take a lifetime to master (and years to even reach "good").
You'll spend more time doing what you didn't even want to do than the things you set out to do in the first place!
Even if you can afford something, it doesn't mean it's a good investment. Unless your last name is Rockefeller or you have more money than you could spend in 10,000 years, bad investments will quickly deplete your resources (and exponentially so when you're talking about purchasing skilled labor and/or products with little to no resale value).
Without further ado, I present the list:
1. Do a little research
If you're reading this, chances are that's exactly what you're doing right now: good on you.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and putting in your due diligence will do wonders for your process.
2. Keep it tight
Novelty items, nice-to-haves, and plan changes frivolously waste your resources.
Cut the fat and keep the meat. You can always add more later!
3. Know your role
We may not live in the water, but we humans are more fluid than we care to admit.
Although time will alter it, be careful that you're not pushed or pulled to heavily by the currents of impending acclimation. Hammer out your role and stick to it! Delegate the rest, and if you can't do it, find someone who can.
4. Make smart choices
Knowing a thing and doing a thing are two separate things entirely.
Smart choices will take patience and discretion. It means doing what's best for a realized goal and not letting things like emotion or "feelings" get in the way.
Use your head! If you don't need it, don't do it! If you need it, get it done!
5. Learn to adapt
Situations change. Ignoring that fact will sink your ship. Learn to adapt - not just to survive, but to thrive.
When the situation changes, stop. Take a few steps back and examine just what's going on around you. Accept if a plan is no longer the best course of action, and adjust that plan to keep you on course with minimal imposition.
I could go on with this list, but the main points that I wanted to make are here.
Development requires the same practical approach that most other things do, but unlike most anything else, development is a constantly changing, quasi-experimental endeavor.
The technology changes. The standards change. The practices change. The expectations rise.
Get someone that will do it right (and treat you right in the process). There's no need to waste time or money: hire a professional (like this guy) to make sure you actually get what you pay for.
Doing development yourself is not going to work. You can create a site using any editor you like, - free, paid, it doesn't matter. Web sites and web-based software are more complicated than nearly anything else in the world. I'm not kidding.
Even if you have the tools, knowing how to use them to create what it is that you want is something that can only be done through experience.
The best way to develop on a budget is to consult with a professional first. Someone that has been there, done that, and can help you to take it step by step so the process isn't so darn overwhelming.
Development is hard. Hiring a good developer shouldn't have to be.