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422

You don't explain; not further, not at all. You just say no. This is your business, and your choices about how to conduct it are not up for discussion. The terms of any contract are up for discussion; before signing, that is. He's giving you multiple big red flags that this contract will be a miserable experience, that it will continue to be so even ...


313

(Or, the flip-side of my previous advice...) You stop giving protestations, and say yes. "Yes, I would be happy to write a new contract for these additional deliverables. Project-complete tutelege in my proprietary tradecraft is valued at (value of my projected income for the next $N years). There will also be a licensing fee $Y, for physical file ...


140

Non-techies aren't idiots (for the most part). They can understand a technical argument if you keep it high-level enough. Pick a task you thought should be simple, and walk them through why it's not. I expected this change to be one word in one file. The most likely place to change it seemed to be here, but when I changed it there, it only worked ...


122

You can do this with 90% Headology, 10% software. Firstly, quietly scan employees computers, build a database of files and sizes for each employee. Then leak a memo that all PC's will be scanned for questionable content, i.e. The bosses have a Shazam like program that can identify porn etc. Then a couple of days later, scan the computers for files and ...


105

Such a good question because it is a problem we all face as freelancers. When I made the transition to being a freelancer, the hardest thing for me to develop was a time tracking discipline. For the first year or so, I just focused on project-oriented work, and really only bothered with timers when I was "in the zone" of coding. In time I learned what a huge ...


84

Code structure, style, technical debt are one thing that - at least initially, until the client trusts you - you're going to need to live with. Security vulnerabilities are another matter. Personally, I would do an estimate based on the work required using the existing structure and style while making it clear that there are significant issues with the ...


74

This is an obvious neural network task. First you need a large training set of images selected by experts in your company..... A more effective solution is to announce that you will be checking everyones machine for porn NEXT week/month/whatever, then write a simple app that just exercises the disk. I guarantee that the machines will have been cleaned by ...


72

Some great suggestions here on how to convey and communicate this to the client. Hopefully they will pay off for you. Major red flag here! If the client asks you not to make any changes other than what you've agreed to (HTML and CSS) I'd pass on this project and withdraw my bid. Even with a written and well communicated overview of all of the flaws and ...


71

I wouldn't deal with this guy, period. It sounds like simply doesn't understand that much of the job is thought. If you supplied him with the video he's going to nitpick all the time you spend ignoring him (thinking about the situation.)


67

Don't know about others, but thinking about myself: I have a job that I'm currently happy with. I work regularly and get paid regularly. Of course there's always too much things to do, but still, the work is mostly interesting and the workload is approximately constant and predictable. Hardly so with freelancing (think of work requests as a Poisson ...


66

The reason he says is that if I have any free time at all in my life, even on weekends, they should be spent working for his company. Quit the company NOW!


63

At 60% unpaid bills, the very least you need to do is to stop all further maintenance and support of your code for this customer until they have paid in full. Also realise that you aren't doing this (stopping maintenance and support) to punish the customer - it's simply common sense self-preservation for you and your company. If all your clients would ...


62

You shouldn't charge 6 bucks, that's indeed a bit awkward. But, you are forgetting some stuff. I can't make out if you are a freelancer or not, but you should charge at least 1 hour. That's because you need to read the list of bugs, interpret them, find them in the solution, fix them, test if your solution works, publish them, probably let someone else test ...


58

I'd say that it is 100% ethical, and yes, I would ask my client to supply me with any non-standard tools that are required for a project. I would also say that the client has every right to ask for the tools to be returned to them at the conclusion of the project.


55

Here's a list of softies Software developer - is an employee on the full-time payroll and does the job of implementing the requirements for the application. Developers skip around on different projects working as when directed by their employers. Software consultant - is not an employee, and is brought in to provide advice (consultancy) as to how the ...


54

I think you are being paranoid. If they are interviewing phone screening 10 people, that's roughly 10 man-hours they are spending in on this phase of the interviewing. Plus the cost of advertizing the job, reading a bunch of resumes, etc. And they are getting random ideas from 10 developers, many of whom are probably "also rans" in the employment race. ...


53

You're paid by hour, and for your experience, right? Then what's the problem? Somebody pays you to do something you actually can do according to your skills and accepting your per-hour rate. So just do it. Why would you compare yourself to some beginner who will spend doing the same thing ten times longer? If you believe that your per-hour rate is unfair ...


53

Nothing takes two minutes to fix. You have to read the email, review the list of bugs, reproduce the error, open up your development tools, navigate to the files, make the changes, test, change, re-test, save, check in, update the web server, test the web site, email back to your boss with the list of fixes you made, etc. The editing of a file may take ...


53

I think the biggest problem (other than having an insane customer) is that the arguments you make are weak: Hundreds of hours of work on a dual-screen PC will require a large amount of disk space for the recorded videos. If I don't care about space, I do care about this customer wasting my bandwidth downloading those videos. Disk space and ...


51

Get everything in writing upfront. Never do anything for free. Sets a bad precedent for you and your peers. It destroys the local market. If a customer misses a payment, even one, stop work until they get current. Be professional and un-emotional but be firm. They are already into you for 30 days of work or more, don't dig a deeper hole. You aren't a bank, ...


46

I would love to work for myself, and even recently tried being a freelancer for 3 months earlier this year. It didn't work out quite like I hoped, and after I got a good offer from a good company, I went back to full-time salaried employment. These are the negatives I experienced while freelancing: Writing code has become a commodity Let's say I can make ...


46

I've read the "take your salary and divide it by 1000" rule of thumb, but the thing is I don't have a salary. Then take what somebody with your level of experience in your field would typically make, and use that as a basis. If you do it that way, if somebody gives you "unpleasant looks and demand for justification", you can trot out your justification. ...


46

I think you make a mistake in assuming that the choice of technology is a purely technical decision. The customer seems to be concerned about the business implications of picking a particular technology. Given that, you need to present a case that addresses his business concerns at least as heavily as your technology opinions. Employers have to recruit ...


44

You're dealing with a lawyer, and you're not a lawyer. Get a lawyer, don't do anything to harm your client, without prior legal advice and proper representation. He'll sue your a** if you do that. To answer your question directly - unless it is explicitly allowed in your contract (which I doubt), it's most probably illegal.


44

The client doesn't understand software development if he thinks he needs a video of your work. A good programmer will generate the most value for the customer when they don't appear to be doing anything with the computer at all. Maybe he'd like you to start billing extra for those times when you invariably think of a solution to a problem during your ...


44

You hire honest programmers, and you (in consultation with them and possibly other honest programmers as a reality check) set reasonable goals in short time lines. If they don't meet the goals, fire them. If they do meet the goals, then it shouldn't matter to you if they play solitaire for 2 hours straight while they're clearing their minds and mulling ...


43

It's cheaper Hiring people is generally much cheaper than normal contractor rates, not many companies will come out flat and say this though so they state a number of "non-reasons".


40

Who is the client and what does he/she do? Do the services they need mesh with what you offer? Do they understand the type of services you offer? Do they understand your rates (and not question them)? What are they looking for in a provider? Do they understand your work process? What is their communication preference? Are there any hurdles that will ...


38

Part of your contract should describe acceptance tests i.e. tests that the client will do and your application needs to pass them for the contract to be fulfilled. Anything not covered by these tests is client's responsibility. Anything covered by them is yours. Because it is not possible (especially for a non-technical client) to forsee all possible ...


38

Let the Wookiee Win Consultants who want to build and mantain good relationships with existing staff would do well to remember the sage advice from Hans Solo in Star Wars: "Let the Wookiee win" Not that the in-house staff are wookiees. Well, not all of them. The point is that if you (you being the consultant in this case) want your presence and assistance ...



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