Programming - Legacy and Small Bespoke Work a Speciality

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Paul 'Red' Adair, 1915-2004

If you have a program than needs work or a server that wants looking after, contact me on / 0468 328 973. Especially if you don't normally have or need a programmer on staff. When the need hits you, I can fill that gap with a minimum of pain or fuss. Fixing old things, toolsmithing for university or laboratory research groups, and funky weirdness a speciality.

No job too big, no job too small.

All work includes complete and usable copies of the source code written, and documentation for your reference and for any future development or maintenance. If there wasn't any to start with, there will be now. My rates are:

Project management and team leadership by special arrangement. Graphical design will be subcontracted; rates on request.


There's this one program you have. It runs your quarterly spreadsheet, or does the analysis for that research project, or does something mysterious but vital in back of the survey on your web site. You don't know what is inside the black box, because who has time. But that grad student or intern or research assistant or consultant who wrote it? They've moved to New Zealand, can't be contacted due to sunspots, can't remember what the code did and where the bits are, or work for your competition now. You have some legacy code.

And now you want it to do something else. You want a feature added, or you want the rates it uses updated to 2017, or you need the thing to be purple instead of blue. Maybe you're writing your next research paper and want to run the analysis again, but this time the other way. Maybe you've upgraded your computer and the thing you haven't run in two months now doesn't run (oops!). You don't have a programmer working for you, but you need some programming done. I can help.

If you have some legacy code that's vital for your work but needs some TLC, I will sort it out for you. If you have a script slapped together in two coffee-filled nights by your research assistant who is awesome at topographical analysis algorithms but horrible at writing code that anyone else can touch without losing themselves in a labyrinth of pain, I will untangle and clarify and document all the bits. And then add the next thing you want, or fix the bug, or remove all that chartreuse. If you have a spreadsheet full of vital but mysterious macros that needs to now work with the new procedures instead of the old ones, I've got you covered. If your web site has an ordering page and you don't know how it puts the orders into the inventory system, only it just stopped working, I can pull off the diving save; or more probably, write you a replacement not nearly as friable. Maybe both. If you have a survey from your last research project, and you want another one just like it only different, I can clone it up for you, and this time make it not chartreuse.


Of course, the simplest way to avoid the pain above is to get the thing built right in the first place. By preference I do new work. My degree was a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Information Technology with majors in computer science, physics, supercomputing, applied mathematics and statistics. So, if you have a thing you want a program to do, I can write it. If you have an algorithm or chunk of mathematics or a workflow or a process, I can turn that into code, so the computer does as much of that work as possible.

And when I'm done, it will work, and you will have everything you need to go forward. I can put a small web site on the front of it (and take care of all the details behind having a web site, like hosting and domain names and a way for you to update what the pages say). I can build scripts that do anything you can write down and a computer can handle. I like sculpting small bonsai programs in an hour or two, and I like growing vast wild forests of code for those year-long complex and interesting applications. If you are really good at your job, but need a professional for the computing part, let's talk.

(If you are really good at your job but still think you don't need to do a good job at coding up that one piece of programming that's vital to your process, let's talk urgently. It's not too late to avoid having a fragile, painful single point of failure.)