To help bring your spreadsheets, admin and general file keeping up to scratch, it’s worth hiring a FileMaker pro consultant, especially if you’ve taken the significant step towards improving your spreadsheet system by upgrading to the more powerful FileMaker.
If your organization lacks the time or expertise to do this in-house, finding the right FileMaker developer will be crucial in saving you time and money. We’ll explore some of the most important qualities and qualifications of top FileMaker consultants so that you can easily distinguish the quality performers and make better-informed and more confident decisions.
We’ve identified some recommended questions you could ask, within your normal interview protocol, to gain insight into a prospective consultant. The answers to these questions will give you the assurance that your developer has both the expertise and the experience to support your FileMaker needs.
Are You FileMaker Certified?
Choose a consultant who is a certified FileMaker developer. Not only does this ensure they have achieved FileMaker expertise, but it demonstrates that they are focused on FileMaker-related practices, and they specialize. If a consultant or developer is not certified, it calls into question their level of experience within FileMaker as a standalone system. Is it something they’ve only worked on casually?
And what is FileMaker Certification? With the release of FileMaker 7 in 2004, FileMaker introduced their first certification program. Any user can become a FileMaker Certified Developer by demonstrating, via actual exam, that they have mastered the program. So, a certificate is your confirmation that you are hiring an experienced FileMaker pro consultant with technical knowledge and the qualification to back it up. Why settle for less?
Do you work alone, or do you employ consultants?
A difference between FileMaker consultants is whether they work individually or as part of a company. Working with an independent FileMaker pro consultant is usually more cost-effective, since the arrangement is more flexible and it’s just like hiring a freelancer.
However, working with a team (or a team backing the individual) means you should have access to greater technical support, training if required, an appointed replacement if your consultant is away or sick, and more resources in general. However, the cost will likely be higher, but arguably worthwhile. Find a consultant who meets your needs, and your budget.
Do you charge hourly, or by project?
There are benefits to both models, so which do you prefer? Many clients prefer an hourly rate as it’s easy to manage and you come to know how long certain tasks should take. However, charging by project ensures the full task (however long it takes) is completed to satisfaction within an agreed budget.
To understand how pricing is best suited to a FileMaker pro consultant, the methods used for software programming should be broken down. The two major approaches to software development are waterfall and extensions, such as the V-Model and Dual Vee Model and rapid application development (RAD), with its offshoots, Rational Unified Process and Spiral Process. In past years, software was almost universally developed using the waterfall process and it is still used extensively today, typically in big IT organizations and for major projects. In these cases, a lot of time is invested upfront in laying out the system, detailing a very extensive functional specification document. Once approved, development begins and later a finished product is created and delivered.
To reduce risk, most developers will calculate the total project time and add to the number, as a contingency for unexpected errors or delays. However, they will always strive to complete the work in time and budget.
Charging hourly maintains more control in the short term, but could be very costly and less efficient for a larger, long-term project. It’s about finding the right cost structure that suits you.
What experience do you have integrating FileMaker with other apps?
FileMaker is great because it can integrate with other systems, such as PHP, XML, XSLT, ODBC-JDBC and direct import and export of .csv, .tab, .dbf, .xls and .xlsx files. In addition, FileMaker applications can be extended with plug-ins that provide connections with Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, SMS systems and more.
Now, with more and more users wanting mobile app solutions, FileMaker Go puts your database directly on your iPhone, iPad and via web integration, so your FileMaker data is accessible from any mobile device or tablet.
So, find a FileMaker pro consultant who has experience with integrating your system, for whatever development or expansion work you may do in the future.
Optional: Are you a FileMaker Trainer?
This isn’t necessary, but worth considering. Being a FileMaker Trainer could be a sign of commitment to the FileMaker community, and passing on knowledge. To remain accredited and up-to-date with all professional training, it guarantees the person is fully literate in the latest FileMaker news and system developments.
As fully qualified FileMaker developers, Neo Code also offers FileMaker training courses to get your organization up to speed on everything you need to know about FileMaker, and how your team uses it.
Why Neo Code?
Neo Code is a market-leading software development company based in Canada with locations in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. As a full service custom software provider, and high-end FileMaker developer experts, Neo Code will provide you with a robust, reliable, powerful solution that is right for your needs.
The range of services include:
- Starter Sync Solution
- Excel to Mobile App
- FileMaker Web Integration
- FileMaker and WordPress Integration
- FileMaker Hosting
- FileMaker Development
- FileMaker App Development
- Web Development
There are many reasons why Neo Code is unique from other software development companies. Reliability, efficiently, technical insight and collaboration with clients are key factors.
Neo Code thoroughly understands a client’s needs and any problems they want to solve right from the start, which saves lots of time later.
Whether it’s improving your Microsoft Excel process, or developing a tailored FileMaker solution from scratch, every project is completed and consulted on with you in mind. Taking into consideration the demands of scope, the team conducts reviews of the project’s technical aspects and feasibility to ensure all work is highly-focused, on the right path to proposing the right solution before actual coding begins. The end product means guaranteed client satisfaction.
Find out more about Neo Code and their unique offering.