All of our team started out as amateur developers working in business teams - we knew we wanted better systems and we set out to develop them ourselves with little or no training. There are many such people developing Lotus Notes applications and they do generate great business value by doing what they are doing.
Having started in this mode we are now able to look back with quite a few years of professional IT experience and see the different but complimentary benefits of using very able amateur developers and professional developers to develop solutions. Similarly there are complimentary benefits to using in-house professional IT Developers and consultants such as FoCul.
Our passion is developing great software solutions that work for you. We love a challenge and we thrive on interesting projects and on helping to set up software schemes that will scale with use and still work well in 5 years time.
We are very happy to work along side your teams to bring specialist expertise in development or system architecture so that your solutions will be more effective. We can work on an ad-hoc basis provided support as required or on a more structured basis against specific deliverables.
** A quick word on System Architecture by Sean Cull ( founder and lead consultant )
Back in 2000 when I started FoCul ( having previously been an "Amateur Developer" ) I was introduced to some people at on a course who described themselves as "solution architects". To be quite honest I thought that this was a rather grand title and I did not really understand what it meant. With 10 or more years of professional IT experience behind me I can now say that the architecting phase of a project is probably the most important if you want an application that will still be fit for use in 5 years time.
You may not need a dedicated architect but you do need to make sure that someone is taking the time to step back and ensure that the solution you are about to build is based on a solid foundation, will cope with 5 years worth of use and is using the most appropriate platform and methods. You can seldom make up for a rocky foundation with extra code, resources or money.