SalaryTimer .NET released!

13-May-2011

There's a long and a short version of this blog post.

The short version is: new version of the Salary Timer released for the 2011/12 tax year! Yay! Head over to the Salary Timer page to download. I have also updated the Raise Calculator and Tax Calculator.

The longer version? Well, let's talk about the Project Management Triangle...

The Project Management Triangle, illustrated to the right, describes the three constraints that affect a project. Just like you can't change the sides of a triangle without affecting at least one of the other sides (or the area), you can't change any of these project management constraints without affecting the other two (or the project quality). It's an over-simplified model, but it still does a surprisingly good job at illustrating the reality of a typical software project.

Lets say you want to add extra features to your project (increase the scope) - that's fine, but you'll have to also increase the cost and/or the delivery date. Or, lets say you want to finish your project quicker than planned - that's fine too, but you'll also have to increase the cost or reduce the scope. You get the picture.

By now you're probably wondering why I'm blathering on about triangles when I'm supposed to be discussing the new version of the Salary Timer? Good point.

Ages ago I talked about my plan to migrate the Salary Timer code-base from C++/Win32 to C#/WinForms. I assumed this would be a quick and pain-free task. Hmm...

It turns out there was more code in the Salary Timer project than I remembered. A lot more! And though the code conversion wasn't all that difficult, it took much longer than I'd anticipated. And some features I simply didn't want to migrate as they were, so I re-wrote some bits from scratch. Add to that a crazy busy couple of months at the office (working on a new project for Nokia), and suddenly my triangle was feeling the strain...

Now I'm not one for cutting quality, and I was already a month overdue - time to cut features. So unfortunately this new version of the Salary timer is missing the Tax Brackets and Mini-Mode features. I've also removed the ability to rename the "Other" break timer. Nothing too earth-shattering, but it's still a shame to release a new version with less features than the previous one :o(

On the plus side, now that the project has been migrated to .NET it will be much easier to maintain. So adding those missing features, plus a few extra bells n' whistles, should be child's play...