A 10x Developer Story

by stink - on Jul 22, 2021 12:17pm to programming comments(0)
This story takes place in 2009 before Flash died.

Let me layout the project before I begin. The app automatically connects 20,000 pronunciation mp3s to words in any text. Then a user can click any word to hear the pronunciation.

I responded to an online ad for a programmer and got a response! I discussed the project at length via phone and email with this new client. Eventually she reveals to me that she's already spent over 2 years trying to build this app with another developer.

Woah...2 years, heh. This should not take 2 years.

So, I dig in and try to find out why they have been working on this for so long. She needed the ability to stylize each letter of each of the 20k words. She and the previous developer decided that they would use a separate .fla for each word and then she could stylize a word by editing the respective .fla.

20k .fla files for this project. Could you imagine maintaining 20k .fla files? Even if there were only 50 words this architecture would not work. I explain that it should be database driven and use a single .fla.

I think I built it in 1 month for 20x less than she paid the other developer. I was a 10x developer here relative to the other developer because I identified my client’s architectural mistake and said something.
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