Throbbers Add Warmth

thatjeffsmith General 4 Comments

It’s amazing how the ‘little things’ can often make the biggest impact on the end user experience. Example: when you ask your software to do something, you want a visual indicator or feedback dialog to let you know how that request is being processed. Imagine submitting a order request on your favorite shopping website and not getting a response back. …

Why Users Drive Me Nuts or Why I Love Users

thatjeffsmith General 4 Comments

Two quick apologies – 1)This post may ramble a bit more than usual, and B)It’s not my intent to insult or degrade any of the folks I help online. This blog serves as my conscience and my therapist, and I’m not in the mood to cover technical topics today. First off, you may wonder what I mean by ‘user.’ Surely …

Buy Versus Build, I’ll Sleep Just Fine Thank You

thatjeffsmith General 4 Comments

I sell software for a living. Just in case you forgot, or never knew, my job is to present our software solutions to a customer and make sure there are no technical objects preventing them from buying it. Does this make me a weasel? Relatively, maybe a little bit. But, I sleep very well at night – and it’s not …

Using the Red Pen AKA Code Reviews

thatjeffsmith Database Stuff 0 Comments

I used to love getting my essays handed back to me from my teacher. I would quickly look for the red ink comments scattered throughout my paper. I was looking for approval – ‘Yes Jeff, you are truly a genius!’ I do not get the impression that developers either enjoy reviewing co-worker’s code, or having their code reviewed. Does your …

Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse

thatjeffsmith Database Stuff 2 Comments

People are always asking me, ‘Jeff, what’s going to be in the new version of X?’ or ‘Jeff, what’s new in X?’ or ‘Jeff, what’s wrong with you?!?’ If I’m feeling particularly chippy, I’ll reply something along the lines of ‘How well do you think you’ve mastered the current version of X?’ If you haven’t seen something before, that means …

A Little Bit of Tech Goes a Long, Long Way

thatjeffsmith General 0 Comments

Apologies to Wynonna Judd for borrowing and mangling her lyrics and song title, but I just had a really interesting conversation with a fellow Oracle tools guru. We we’re discussing just how much functionality an end-user really takes advantage of in a software product. He had mentioned that users maybe exercises about 20% of a tool’s feature-set and I countered …

How Old is Your Software?

thatjeffsmith General 1 Comment

I am continuously chiding my customers to upgrade their software, particularly the software they bought from Quest. Why? Well, for starters it’s in my financial best interest to do so. But, I have no problems sleeping at night because it’s also in their best interest. Why? Companies spend a lot of money on software maintenance renewals. Anywhere from 10-25% of …

Get More from Product Demos

thatjeffsmith Database Stuff, General 3 Comments

You know the drill: an email from your manager is inviting you to attend a dog-and-pony show for the latest widget some company has added to their best software product ever. The invite goes into your calendar and don’t think about it again until your screen starts flashing 5 minutes prior to start time. So, you head over to the …