Get to know us better
Who are you?
We are software developer Houston, a small group of software developers, and designers who work, as a team, on projects for our clients. Some of us are full-time employees, some are moonlighters, and some are independent contractors. All of us are the best at what we do. We are located in Houston, Texas and have been in business since 2002.
Are you a consulting, contracting, or recruiting firm?
No, we are none of these. We don’t place people into open positions. We don’t tell you how to run your business. We don’t go away after a predefined duration of time. We are simply a flexible, very capable, and dependable team for hire. Our Engineering Software Houston group can outsource your entire project, or simply help you through “peak” times by working directly with your in-house engineering staff.
Can you work at my location?
We have our own offices, our own computers, our own software, and everything else we need to get the job done. For the most part, we do the work at our location. Even so, we often travel to our clients’ offices for meetings, troubleshooting, installation, training, or even an occasional office party, if we’re lucky.
Do you charge by the hour, or bid for entire projects?
We can do both. If you like the flexibility and freedom of “do as I say” and “pay as we go” then we charge by the hour. We offer a fixed bid for a very well defined project. For some clients, we come up with a hybrid of both hourly and fixed bidding. In general, we do whatever makes the most sense for our client and the project in question.
Do you bill for your time spent in meetings, phone calls, or writing emails?
We bill only for time that is directly related to actual design and development. This may include meetings and phone calls, but only if the subject matter pertains to producing the software. We never bill time for spent on “business” activities such as sales calls, initial consultations, contract negotiation, accounting, billing, education, equipment maintenance, or cleaning out the refrigerator.
How do you calculate your billable time?
We round each day’s total time to the nearest quarter hour. We normally don’t count quick phone calls or emails that take only a few minutes to respond to. We promise not to nickel and dime you!
Do you charge for travel time or expenses?
For trips that are relatively short, or if they are infrequent, we don’t charge for the time or the expense. When travel is required more than about once per week, or is outside of Houston area, we may need to negotiate reasonable compensation.
Do you charge for your computers, software licenses, or other equipment?
We have all of the tools we need to do most jobs. When special, unusual, or proprietary software or equipment is required, we will ask our client to provide it to us, at our location, for the duration of the project.
Do you require a signed contract?
We don’t absolutely require a written agreement to do business. Even so, we do think that it is a good idea to have one, especially for larger or more sensitive projects. We do require an agreement for fixed bid projects.
Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement?
You might need to share sensitive information in order for us to do our job. Even without a written agreement, we always exercise a very high level of discretion in regard to your business operations and your trade secrets. And, of course, we will back that up in writing.
Who owns the software that you write for me?
In general, once a project is completed and paid for, you will become the proud owner. In addition to the “executable” files, you will also receive source code, scripts, graphics, audio, project files, and anything else that is necessary to build, maintain, or extend the software. In most cases, we do retain the right to reuse the source code in future projects, for our other clients, as long as it does not contain trade secrets or any other proprietary or protected information. As always, we can customize the terms to fit your needs.
Can I make “payments” for the software?
If cash flow or tax advantages are a big factor for you, there are many reputable equipment leasing companies who specialize in financing custom software projects. Once the loan is approved, we invoice the leasing company for the full amount, and they pay us directly. At that point, we begin software development, and you begin making payments to the leasing company. The end result can be better software, working for you sooner, that is paid for (or pays for itself) over time.
What is the minimum project size that you will accept?
We don’t scoff at small projects. Even if we lose some money working on “small potatoes,” it is well worth the opportunity to gain a happy client. Happy clients usually come back, and sometimes they bring their friends.
What if I want you to work with a technology that you are not familiar with?
If we believe that the knowledge gained from learning said technology will be applicable to future projects, we will acquire the knowledge at no cost to you. On the other hand, if we believe that said technology is proprietary or not applicable to any other foreseeable project, we will bill for the time spent learning it.
What kinds of software do you develop?
We cover much of the spectrum of modern software. In addition to standard Windows and Web/Database applications, we also develop image/audio processing systems, Pocket PC, MS Office plug-ins.