As a consultant I have customers. Unfortunately being a consultant rather than a contractor has the down side that I hardly ever here from my customers after my engagement ends.
I just noticed an email from one of my more challenging engagements in the UK for a company that specialises in deploying solutions in Microsoft Dynamics. They had problems with many divergent versions of their application as well as a complicated, manual and error prone deployment model.
I worked with them on a Tools and Practices engagement for only around 10 days spread over a couple of months an this was the result:
Just a quick email to say thanks for your help on moving us forward on TFS 2010. My vision for having an installed website as a product is now complete and Ahmed has been fully trained up with the rolled up newspaper.
We now have a build process that creates a custom MSI file (for both the test and live sites) for each customer or any customer we choose to put in a build parameter. The MSI, all built in lovely WIX, installs the product and runs the datadude process to synch the database. Job done!
I had an opportunity to demo this to another company last month, whilst I was in Vegas. They have a similar issue with code going out of synch from the DB and managing too many branches. I created an empty db added an entry to my hosts file for the site name and ran the installer. Instant website, all the defaults populated. They couldn’t believe it as they have over 40 branches to manage.
I’m now looking at the QA process with MTM, which looks fantastic, so fingers crossed!
Anyway, thanks again. It’s been a life changer here!
– Paul Martin
I really enjoyed working with this team and that brings me back to the other things that I did when I was reading this email. I looked up the cost of flights. And I was really surprised.
I can fly to the UK from Seattle for $733 (£464.00) return! That is cheaper than most of the flights for client engagements here. Yes, it may cost a little more in hotel costs, and I would be less flexible in flights, but it is potentially doable.
Not saying I am going to, but I am a little more inclined to seek clients in Europe as well.
p.s. The metaphorical Rolled Up Newspaper approach works very well for developers.