Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

35

Step 1: Stop working unpaid overtime. You have already trained your customer and manager for a year to believe that the current rate of development is what should be expected. This is part of the reason why they do not understand why a "simple" thing could take a full day to do. You don't need to hold them hostage and attempt to hurt the project. But you ...


35

how to explain that you've chosen to use one technology rather than an equivalent one for the reasons related to human resources, without giving the impression to be unprofessional or to not care about the project? Well. You say just that: In terms of the requirements for this project, technology X and technology Y are equally suited to the task, so ...


32

What does your contract with the customer say? If it doesn't, and this is a work for hire, then they own the source code unless your contract says otherwise. In the future, you may want your contracts looked over by a lawyer. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, and you should probably consult a lawyer. It appears that the answer lies in whether ...


26

What I have never done, but I know others do, and it is awful, but apparently it works, is this: Give them a quote (say, €500) for the simplest possible web site that covers their requirements. (The crummiest thinkable two-story house made of matchsticks.) They will like it, and they will stop talking to your competitors and start talking to you. As they ...


24

As with many things in computing, it depends. If the patches are a response to customer requests for new features or improvements, then your company will be viewed as responsive. If, on the other hand, your patches are a response to bug reports, then your company will be viewed as incompetent. Testing software on your customers is by far the most ...


21

IMO you should have the "You don't understand URL rewriting" discussion with your client. Obviously you should not bluntly tell your client, "You don't understand". Instead, I would start off with, "Before we invest anything, I think we should discuss X to make sure we're on the same page about what the pros and cons of X and it's alternatives are." If it ...


21

Your team needs to do the data conversion for them. You really should have done it for them in the first place. I've been involved in a number of expensive platform migrations and the vendor always, always has their own data conversion team who are responsible for understanding the legacy system, writing all the migration scripts, doing all the tests, and ...


21

There are many ways to answer such queries - Answer 1: It will cost you X Euros per hour to define the system, after which I can give you a fixed price for a set of agreed-upon features. Answer 2: send them a video clip of sharks in a feeding frenzy, and ask them how long it will take them to count the fish (not just the sharks), given that they can't see ...


20

In an interview with Seth Godin on the Difference Between Leadership and Management, Mr. Godin suggests firing those customers who take 80% of your time for 20% of the benefit. Doing so will allow you to focus 100% of your time on the customers that make a difference. Is it good for your awesome, amazing customers if you take their call right after ...


19

I wrote a fairly complex custom web application for a Federal Regulatory agency once with an IT Manager who was seriously ADHD, had administrator rights, and an itchy trigger finger. So one day she calls me up for support on the app. It was a fairly minor issue that was only experienced by a couple of users and I think ultimately was probably the result of ...


19

Oh man, I was in this position so many times back when I freelanced I'm feeling your pain right now. It all changed when I changed my way of thinking about clients: all clients are con artists. Let me say that again: ALL CLIENTS ARE CON ARTISTS When you change to this perspective it is when you realize you actually have the leverage most of the time, ...


18

How do I decide what percentage is realistic? No %. At best he gets a free copy. (Also, You post it on the App store.. NOT him) EDIT IT'S NOT STEALING! The Customer has NO interest in this Business, he is just trying to get free work. This is one of the oldest Scams in the book. You know what i used to tell My customers who suggested ...


18

A vector has both a magnitude and a direction. He is saying you can't describe intelligence by just its magnitude. You must also know the direction the intelligence is pointed toward. Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Bloch is ...


16

I interned at a financial firm my first year in college. At that job, I wore many hats: programmer, help desk, network admin. One day I had to hook up a printer for the secretary of the SVP of Investments. This SVP worked 15 blocks away and wanted the printer hooked up in a back room, 50 feet away from the secretary's desk. This was nearly 20 years ago, so ...


16

If 'several people' are doing this, then: The branding isn't as clear as you think it is. Make it clearer. Hire someone who does this for a living. If you're worried about people taking your source code and using it anyway, then maybe you shouldn't be writing it in PHP, or have some sort of authentication? Overall, if you can you want to maintain a good ...


16

Are you willing to take the risk that if you work for free/almost-free, and the product does not sell, you will make nothing? Do you have enough saved to pay the bills if this happens? Is the idea so amazingly revolutionary that you will make a small fortune on it? ...Avoid this if you can. The customer should pay as much as they can, but never nothing. ...


16

What not to do: Forget to tell those you are observing who you are and why you are there. They will assume you are there for some bad reason like determining if they should get fired if you don't explain. Tell jokes. You don't know their corporate culture and what is appropriate in the IT world is often vastly different thtn the rest of the world. At best ...


15

Are they paying for the additional features? If so, then it's really not your business whether they are using them or not. Give them what they pay for. If, however, that is not the case, then it's up to your leadership to decide if they are willing to keep adding features at no additional income.


13

Did you read part 2 of the article or his sample specification? They embody a couple important principles when writing a specification. Don't overdesign. The purpose of writing the spec is to force you to think about important things like what happens when there's an error, and how you expect the user to interact with the system. You don't have to go ...


13

... the code is really hard to maintain. This is your way in with management. Demonstrate that the cost of "just" fixing the bugs and adding new functionality is greater than that of refactoring and rewriting the code. For example if with the current code a new feature would take 2 weeks to add and then a significant amount of time to maintain (e.g. 1 ...


12

… because intelligence is not a scalar quantity; it's a vector quantity. I can't speak for the author, but I would read it as an analogy to the fact that there is not a single dimension for practical intelligence as a programmer. Another way to put it might be that some people are awesome at dealing with people, some people are awesome at dealing with ...


11

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C. Clarke I've had these users before. The best I've come up with is to explain that a computer is a deterministic machine, and can't hate them any more than a typewriter, a slide rule, or an abacus can.


11

People think that because a lot of software and IT people reinforce the idea. 1) We write error messages that are terse and can imply that the user caused the problem. 2) We take great joy in continually recounting stories of dumb users and the errors they make. 3) We often forget that everyone has to learn this stuff sometime, and forget that we were all ...


11

Your problem seems to step from the fact that the "customer" is probably a person who will not use the system. Some things I remember from SE class: Try visiting the people who will actually use the system and observe them in actual working conditions. This can be important because of domain differences between users and developers, difference assumptions ...


11

Bring it up casually, and see what they want to do with it. I would say something like 'BTW, I noticed you've been using my test server. Is that just for this week(?) of training or will you use it more regularly, because then we should make some hosting arrangements.' That way you're not too aggressive about getting every last penny from then, but also ...


10

I know I answered already, but I have a few of these as I work in web development. My favorite (least favorite?): I was hired to build a website for a relatively high-profile name in the sports world, so all of the communication was done through his lawyers who obviously knew not a single thing about web development. I got the job because a friend of mine ...


10

Sometimes I find myself in meetings with customers who keep saying "...and could you ... " , or " ... and could it also ... " over and over. At some point I smile sweetly and say "I'm a consultant. Whenever you ask me if something can be done, I am always going to say yes. But for a lot of these, I also have to add: you did bring your chequebook, right?" ...


10

How do you deal with people who never listen, never learn, and want everything for free? they get moody Stop the drama. The only way "they get moody" is if you're responding to them being moody. You're as much to blame as they are because you're part of the drama. Drama requires two actors to be in conflict. You're one of those actors. You're ...


10

Nobody has solved this problem, and I doubt that they ever will. And yet, the software business keeps running. Why? Probably because clients don't actually care how much time you spent on what, they only care about the total price and the final delivered product. EDIT: I'm not saying that detailed time reports are useless. But their main use is to the ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible