Frequently Asked Questions
If you can't find the answer that you are looking for here, contact me and let me know how I can help.
I have been working with a variety of business technologies for over 20 years. My primary expertise is in software and web development, system integration and network engineering for small business environments. Learn more about my experience here.
Working remotely with GARA is a breeze. I can build and maintain web applications from anywhere. For desktop based applications I can build off site or use remote access to work on your systems. I can also offer remote desktop support using a variety of methods.
Rates will vary based on the nature of the project, the length of the engagement and other factors. My base rate is $125 per hour. See the Plans and Rates page for more details.
Why hire GARA Systems? Wouldn't a full-time entry-level programmer be a better and more cost effective solution?
When you hire GARA you get me. I have almost 20 years of business and technology experience that could not possibly be matched by an entry-level programmer. Even though I might charge 3 to 4 times their hourly rate I am confident I will complete the work 3 to 4 times as quickly ... and it will be done correctly. Entry level programmers working solo often need to spend countless hours working out solutions to problems that are new to them. I've seen those same situations again and again and I know how to overcome them and usually already have a tool that does. Entry level programmers belong in bigger software shops where they can be seasoned and mentored, not in a small business environment where the entire responsibility of the IT infrastructure rests on the shoulders of one person. Small businesses don't need full-time beginners. They need part-time experts. That is why you should consider GARA Systems.
Yes. My specialty is in designing and developing information management solutions for small and medium sized organizations in any industry.
Yes. If you have an idea for a commercial software application or need software to compliment an existing product or service, I can implement and maintain it. In addition, I can provide you with a variety of licensing and sales rights options to ensure your idea is protected.
Check out my recommendations at the GARA Systems Store. Check the various "Bookshelf" categories under Gary's Recommendations.
The word GARA was a "mash up" of my name, Gary, with the name of my first partner. That partnership dissolved shortly after it was formed, but GARA Systems continues on both in mission and in name.
We begin by reviewing your requirements for the system. If you do not currently have any documented requirements, we can provide you with our System Requirements Analysis Service. The deliverable of this service is a System Requirement Specification that can be used to develop a project plans and request for proposals. It also acts as the guiding document for the software developers and other project implementers. Once the requirements are defined, I will provide you with a proposal to develop the system. Once the proposal is approved I will develop and deliver the first iteration of the software in accordance with the project plan. The system will be reviewed with you and your staff, modification requirements identified and the next iteration developed. This process continues until you are satisfied that the functionality of the system matches the requirements. As a final verification of the system, I recommend that you execute the new system in parallel with any existing process that is used. This will ensure that transferring your process to the new system goes as smoothly as possible. It also provides some time for your staff to develop confidence in the new system before abandoning established procedures. Upgrades to the software follow a similar process, although upgrades typically require shorter development cycles.
A software component is a subset of a complete information system. A component is typically responsible for one functional area of the system. For example, one component of an accounting system might be the transaction register. Another might be the account setup module.
Component based software offers developers the ability to reuse common components in a variety of applications. For example, many applications require security. A well designed application security component can be configured to work with any application. In addition, improvements to these reusable components translate to improvements in all systems that use them. This saves time and money for my clients.
Incremental development is the idea of creating complete software system in steps. The software is first developed to meet the initial requirements. As feedback from the users is gathered and business requirements change, modifications are made to the software to address the new requirements. The benefits of this process include more user control over the development; software development expenses spread out over time; and a software system that evolves with your business.
I maintain a catalog of freeware, open source software and free online services. You can find it at The Free Software Catalog here at GARA Systems Online.
I prefer AVG from Grisoft because it is light weight and get the job done. Since I've installed it, I've not had a single issue with viruses. You can find it and a host of other free software packages here.