Questions regarding interactions with clients, including aspects of contract negotiation, requirements analysis, development, and maintenance.

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121
votes
15answers
8k views

Demonstrate bad code to client?

A client has asked me to do a redesign of their website, an ASP.NET Webforms application that was developed by another consultant. It seemed like a relatively straightforward job, but after looking at ...
46
votes
24answers
2k views

How to get money from reluctant client?

I completed this website 4 months ago. (I would like to keep the website anonymous - if this post comes up on google search for his customers, it will have a negative impact on his business). We did ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

Who should pay for fixes/bugs?

So I just started freelancing both in desktop/web development and this client who already accepted my work, and payed me keeps coming back at me each time he finds a bug etc. And I have found myself ...
31
votes
18answers
6k views

What would you do if your client required you not to use object-oriented programming?

I am writing a program to simulate the activity of ants in a grid (PDF). The ant can move around, pick up things and drop things. The problem is while the action of the ants and the positions of each ...
26
votes
14answers
1k views

What if the client needs the ability to retrieve passwords?

I've currently inherited an application at work and to my dismay, I have realized that the user passwords stored in the database are encrypted using an in house encryption function, which also ...
25
votes
4answers
854 views

Is there an analogue to “FizzBuzz” for choosing clients?

This is for the freelancers. In my past life as a full-time employee, I was involved in hiring and interviewed a good number of developers. I learned that it was much more valuable to see a developer ...
24
votes
12answers
2k views

Where to find clients? [closed]

My main area: web development. Of course, I don't expect anybody give away their 'gold mine' or whatever but I am struggling to see where I should be advertising my services. I have one other ...
22
votes
6answers
738 views

Getting users to write decent and useful bug reports

Does anyone know a good way to get users to write a semi-decent (read: useful) bug report? We wanted to put up something that would make sense to most users (be easy to read and understand), yet give ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

What can I do to prevent taking on an unethical development project?

Back in my self-employment days, I've once taken on a small and rather well-paid project: "A newsletter system", the spec stated. Everything was fine, invoices were paid with each milestone reached, ...
19
votes
8answers
14k views

Why almost no webpages hash passwords in the client before submitting (and hashing them again on the server), as to “protect” against password reuse?

Relevant XKCD There are many sites on the Internet that require login information, and the only way to protect against password reusing is the "promise" that the passwords are hashed on the server, ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

My client wants me to add background music to a site. How do I tell them this is a terrible idea?

I'm having a rather Oatmealesque experience with a particular client's website. The latest 'feature' they have requested is that background music play automatically when the site loads. What should I ...
18
votes
10answers
829 views

Dealing with change requests from clients for an old system that only take 5 minutes to implement [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I charge for programming things which take two minutes to fix? On some systems I created, every now and then I get tiny change requests from clients that are ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How to tell client I no longer want to work on his project

This is probably going to sound messed up, but here it goes. I've been working on a project for a client for a while now. I wasn't given any details except for "It has to be an XYZ plugin and ...
16
votes
11answers
572 views

How to teach your users/customers to send better error descriptions

I often have to deal with customers or users which are reporting errors in applications. Most of the time their content is something useless as ERROR!!! x does not work without much more ...
16
votes
6answers
880 views

Working with clients who don't know what they want

I have recently started a job that has me working on an existing system. It requires tweaks and updates as well as new code. I have done several maintainance/feature adding projects now, and several ...
15
votes
11answers
646 views

Setting realistic expectations for deadlines

I'm a tech lead for a small team. One of the major tasks on my plate is communicating with the client. One thing I find particularly difficult is dealing with deadlines because they are mandated by ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How to recover after embarrassing yourself and your company?

I work in an outsourcing company in Russia, and one of our clients is a financial company located in USA. For the last six months I have been working on several projects for this particular company, ...
15
votes
9answers
935 views

How to convince a non-technical client that their application spec needs to be simplified?

Often times I am faced with the situation where a new client comes to me with an application that has literally 100s of unnecessary features and it is quite clear that things need to be drastically ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

What to do when client have unrealistic expectations? [closed]

I've been working on a project for the past six months at a client site since they require data confidentiality and didn't want us to work at our own office. When I showed up alone to this client ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

How to break the “php is a bad language” paradigm? [closed]

PHP is not a bad language (or at least not as bad as some may suggest). I had teachers that didn't even know PHP was object oriented until I told them. I've had clients that immediately distrust us ...
14
votes
4answers
541 views

What to legitimately charge clients for

I'm not talking about fixed price jobs, they're fairly straightforward. But i'm on about an hourly rate project, my question specifically relates to what to charge for. If i have an IE/CSS issue that ...
14
votes
2answers
444 views

Pair programming business logic with a non-IT person

Have you had any experience in which a non-IT person works with a programmer during the coding process? It's like pair programming, but one person is a non-IT person that knows a lot about the ...
13
votes
7answers
888 views

What to do when your “failing” project is actually “successful”?

What would you do if you were in a situation where the project you are working on is obviously built poorly and will have failures in the future and be a nightmare to maintain...but it is considered a ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Will HTML5/JS Eventually Replace All Client Side Languages? [closed]

I'm just wondering about the future of it all. IMHO, there are 4 forces that define where technology goes: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe. It looks like in Apple's iPhone/iPad iADs can now be ...
12
votes
3answers
317 views

How to educate business managers on the complexity of adding new features? [duplicate]

We maintain a web application for a client who demands that new features be added at a breakneck pace. We've done our best to keep up with their demands, and as a result the code base has grown ...
11
votes
7answers
835 views

How to handle demanding clients?

Frequently, I have been finding myself overloaded with contracts. Most of the time, I find myself juggling with at least 2 projects, in addition to the numerous websites I have to upkeep and perform ...
10
votes
9answers
954 views

Is it a responsibility of the software developer to understand what the customer meant with his request?

Kind of a yes / no question and why? Is it the responsibility of the software developer to understand what the customer meant with his/her request or is it the responsibility of the customer to ...
10
votes
9answers
880 views

When a client asks for Proof Of Concept and expects finished product

We have a client with whom we have a relationship of delivering proofs of concepts only. But when it comes the time to demo they expect an early version of what would be the solution. They want ...
10
votes
3answers
208 views

Working with multiple clients

After applying to multiple contracting positions, I landed a few interviews which I then was accepted to do the work. I am also a full time college student, but I do have about 25-30 hours free a ...
9
votes
5answers
412 views

How to approach the ol' “this will just be a small application”? Yeah right?

Ok I have run into this many times, but here is the worse case scenario slightly exaggerated. A client says "hey can you make us this small module to do this small task"? Me: "Sure no problem". So ...
9
votes
4answers
553 views

How much should my project manager know? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should a manager (or CEO) in an IT company have an IT background to perform in the organization? My project manager at the company I work at, has no technical knowledge ...
9
votes
9answers
430 views

Do unfamiliar frameworks make you nervous? [closed]

Our company is a small (non-technical) startup who is currently going through a developer transition, and we considered bringing in a local web development firm to work with us on a project basis. I ...
9
votes
5answers
455 views

Charging by the hour/project [closed]

This is related to a question I asked earlier - How to end a relationship with a client without pissing them off? What are your obligations when charging by the hour vs charging by project? If you ...
9
votes
4answers
466 views

Code licensing question. Client stole my code

A client I did a project for accidentally ended up with the source code of said project. Stupid i know. The arrangement was that they would get the product, never the source code. However, obviously, ...
8
votes
8answers
492 views

Do customers/clients care about MVC or web forms?

I have a plan to start a small business soon. It is going to be a type of freelancing to build websites and applications using ASP.NET. I want to focus on one thing Web forms or MVC. However, I have ...
8
votes
5answers
414 views

Modules already committed, client doesn't pay, what should I do?

So the story is simple, early stage EU portal hired me to do some extra modules. I got all the source code for local testing, did my job, committed new code. Now I am out of this project but client ...
8
votes
7answers
439 views

How do I handle this intense client situation?

I have worked with a client for two weeks who knows nothing about the complexity of programming a CMS. After two weeks, our relationship has gone from mildly discomforting to the point where I have ...
8
votes
2answers
365 views

Is there a canonical source supporting “all-surrogates”?

Background The "all-PK-must-be-surrogates" approach is not present in Codd's Relational Model or any SQL Standard (ANSI, ISO or other). Canonical books seems to elude this restrictions too. ...
8
votes
7answers
382 views

Choosing a rate to charge a client for training their programmer

We've been put in a bit of a difficult situation and I'm trying to figure out the best way to deal with it and how to charge for it. We've built a custom web app for a customer and I've been ...
8
votes
2answers
417 views

I think client's project will be a flop; should I discuss with him? [closed]

I have a meeting with a prospective client tomorrow for a certain e-commerce project he wants to commission. I had an overview of it over the phone and from what I understand there are gazillion such ...
8
votes
2answers
665 views

How do I handle projects in which my project manager is the same as the client?

I am a freelance worker taking on a new project with a company I'm already familiar with. My boss (the company owner) previously gave me a website project to work at while he also assigns a project ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

To refund or not to refund this client? [closed]

I'd really appreciate your advice on an ongoing project. I presented my client with a proposal and design samples which he approved, and he paid in full instead of the 50% upfront deposit as I'd ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

How to answer “When will it be done?”

We all have it, problems that prove difficult to fix and working out a fix through obscure code and bizarre unexpected functionality. Slowly, logically working your way through trying to find ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What's expected of a web-developer?

I've been getting into more web development later and talking to people often I'll get "Can you make me a website [for my book]?" types. "Yes. But.... Well, what do you want from it?" "I want it to ...
6
votes
11answers
954 views

How much should Developers interact with Clients? [closed]

A philosophical discussion has come up in my department that I'd like p.se's opinion on. We're a 6 person development department inside a 60 person IT shop. All other departments are growing FAST, and ...
5
votes
10answers
3k views

Convincing a Client to Offer a RESTful Web Service instead of a SOAP Service?

BACKGROUND: I develop custom WordPress plugins for my clients that they then distribute via the WordPress plugin repository. I'm increasingly running into clients who want my WordPress plugins to ...
5
votes
5answers
504 views

Should Cross browser testing be explicitly mentioned in the scope of a project?

I do freelance web development and front end dev is not my strongest point. This question came to me in my recent fixed bid project. Nowadays we use Jquery and Bootstrap and these take care of lots ...
5
votes
4answers
451 views

How much documentation should a client expect from a one-man team?

I work for a small electronics and support software company that just recently got a contract with a large company that's very strict on documentation (I do the support software, essentially Windows ...
5
votes
5answers
287 views

Relation between developers and clients

I'm currently working in a small company that its taking care of implementing lots of systems, most of them for goverment institutions, in witch it generally means taking software developted 20 years ...
5
votes
5answers
802 views

How to avoid micro management from a client? [Design Job]

Hello fellow designers, I need your help yet again. As you all know from my last question that I am new to the design industry (and a recent graduate). This is turning out to be an obstacle in my ...