Works great … until it doesn’t.
When you want a car, do you build it yourself or do you buy one from an automaker? Unless you’re a car fanatic (with lots of time, money, and garage space), chances are you’re going to buy a car from a dealer. Not even the manufacturer, but a dealer. Not, ahem, that I’m sure what added value the dealer really has, but hey, you can’t really buy a car from the manufacturer even if you wanted to.*
If you’re a custom coder, then custom code is great fun: powerful, flexible and beautiful. If you’re not, it’s not.
My kids go to a school where I built the website. In WordPress. I mean, really, what else, right? In this way, anyone and I mean anyone, can access, update, and maintain the website. Works great. People need to learn WordPress but that’s not hard, even for non-techies.
But our contact management system that manages all of the kids and parents and cross-relational database connections is built in, well, I don’t really know what it’s built in, I’ve never been “in there.” I quote “in there” because I don’t know if there is an administrative interface. I think it’s just pages of code. So how do you edit that? Hmm, maybe some coding software that lets you edit … pages of code. I don’t know, I try to stay away from that.
So how would a PTA parent member access or change or do much of anything? Here’s the quick answer: they can’t. I didn’t have an answer for the friend who asked me. She asked me why we didn’t use Salesforce (which we have for free I think because we’re a school) and it was because the custom coder wanted to build it all in … custom code.
So that’s where we are. It all works great in the eyes of the custom coder. But for everyone else? Yeah, there’s that.
* You used to be able to order a Mercedes and go pick it up at the plant in Germany, don’t know if that’s still possible. Sounded like fun.