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Doing on-demand work stresses me out and is not good for my back.

What tips could you offer if you have experience in spotting needs and writing custom software to suit ?

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closed as not constructive by dasblinkenlight, Jim G., Matthew Flynn, maple_shaft Oct 28 '12 at 3:48

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My experience has shown true to this steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/08/… basically focus on what you know or want. Many of us only know the software business which is fine, software companies blow tons of money on developer productivity software. You shouldn't have to gather requirements, they should be evident to you. –  Jimmy Hoffa Oct 28 '12 at 2:39

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In my experience, customers are rarely interested in non-custom software that doesn't come with support and/or enhancements. So unless you are writing defect-free and complete software, you will end up doing "on-demand" work on your custom software to patch bugs or add critical features. That is, developing your own code doesn't do much to avoid stressful on-demand work. I suspect the scale and culture of your company is the best way to moderate stressful on-demand work.

But the software I've been involved in, even our non-customer specific is still oriented towards large sales and heavy customization. I suppose if you can avoid that, you will go further to controlling your release cycle. The more customers you have, the less they need to pay; the less they pay, the less they expect immediate fixes from you.

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That sounds fine. I can handle some stress and doing on-demand on a familiar environment is not a problem. It's the work where stuff has to be done quickly (like yesterday ?) and needs to be flawless that I can't handle. I guess that will come with experience :) –  James Poulson Oct 28 '12 at 15:55

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