23

Throughout the years I have completed many projects successfully. Some projects really stood out and were awesome to do. This is not about these projects. It is however about one of my very first projects for my first real software development client many years ago, somewhere around the year 2000.

I was working for some years at TNO, a well known Dutch organization, and the lady at the reception asked me if I could help her husband out because he was strugling to get some web app developed. So I said sure, I can talk to him and see what I can do.

So I went to their house and talked to her husband. They were living in a huge villa and turns out her husband owns an international flower export business for which he needed some web app for. So we had a nice talk and he showed me some software designs he got from a couple of different big companies. He asked me my opinion about these designs. I remember answering something like that it looks very fancy but for me it didn't make much sense.

He replied that it didn't make sense for him as well and was disappointed that these companies didn't seem to understand him properly. It took about 3 months to get these designs which he thought were useless. So, I asked him to explain me what he was looking for.

Actually a pretty simple thing. He was using paper forms to have his clients order the flowers they need. Think of them as Excelsheets with 3 columns with a list of flower names and besides each column a column for the amount required. He would go to the flower auction at 4 in the morning to collect all these filled in forms, manually aggregate them on new forms, and then go to buy the flowers ordered.

This man had many clients and truck drivers. Some of them only worked or ordered at specific days. It was also important that one could easily indicate which flowers were really important to get.

Then comes this 20 year old guy (me) who delivered a working prototype in 24 hours. You can imagine how happy this man was. He said: if you built this for me I will pay you 10K. In the meanwhile for fun you can borrow one of my sports cars if you want.

I took the deal, drove a big fat sports car for about 1.5 months, I delivered and the man payed me as promised.

The web app I developed is today still being used every day. I don't think there is any other project out there, at least not that I'm aware of, that I have worked on and is still being used today in its form as it was originally developed.

Comments
  • 3
    Dude, that's a really cool story! :D I imagine you're quite proud of it too. It gives me a bit of hope to know that there are actually nice clients out there who aren't complete asshats. :) (And just for personal curiosity; what kind of car was it?)
  • 1
    @Navigatr Thank you! I must say that clients like him are pretty scarce. Because of that I'm now doing contract jobs only. It was a Mercedes SLK 350 convertible.
  • 2
    @CodeMasterAlex That is indeed a pretty sleek car! :D I hope you'll find more clients like that in the future.
  • 2
    Damn ! That's impressive and really motivating as well !
Add Comment