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Joomla Development Insights

Joomla Development Insights

John is the owner and senior developer of Blue Bridge.

How Green Joomla Developers Drain Profits

How Green Joomla Developers Drain Profits

In the Marines, a “boot” is a new Marine and is what you are referred as for the first two years of your service, regardless of your rank.  When I served in the Marines, one of the things that bothered me as a boot was that leadership positions were assigned based upon experience.  The idea was that because the senior Marines had been in longer than the new guys they were more qualified to lead, but unfortunately this wasn’t always the case.  Blue Bridge has been in business nearly three times longer than I was a boot (six years). In reflecting upon my own experiences as a developer and seeing much amateur work over the years I've come to appreciate how important of a factor experience is and how the Marines might have ended up with that simplistic system.  Experience has a tremendous impact on how a project is accomplished and much of the time, that impact is felt directly by the client in their bottom line.

Why Experience Matters for a Joomla Developer

My rationale as a junior Marine, and one that I still agree with now, was that experience isn't an end unto itself, but that it must be reflected in performance.  How experience impacts performance is by improving judgment, and judgment for complex projects, like software development, is critical.

Judgment will enable a Joomla! developer to see the consequences of their development choices.  It will allow them to anticipate obstacles from having encountered trouble in their previous experience and it will also increase their accuracy.  A generalist with lots of PHP experience will still have a hard time gauging the true project cost of working within a specific domain like Joomla. They may have plenty of experience, but the lack of focused experience will hurt them and their clients.

Escalating Direct Costs and Future Booby Traps

So how does a lack of experience strain profits?

  • Most Joomla developers work off of an hourly rate and the inability to anticipate problems, understand consequences, or estimate accurately is passed on to the client in their invoices.
  • Many times, inexperienced developers will work themselves into a corner and waste weeks trying to figure a way out before disappearing, even after they've collected several payments. You then have to go through the process of locating another developer or development company to go in, clean things up, and finish the job. This escalates the direct costs but also adds a slew of indirect costs like the time spent researching, negotiating new contracts, and etc.
  • Green developers will often make decisions that work now but not in the future. These unanticipated booby traps detonate months or years after the project is finished raising the total cost of ownership. A common example of this is when a Joomla developer hacks the core and prevents the client from being able to update for a security fix.

Why does anyone work with inexperienced developers then?  They’re cheaper, of course- or at least seem cheaper at the onset of a project.  So when looking at development vendors, keep in mind that even though veterans generally cost more, their focused experience will pay dividends for your peace of mind and bottom line.

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