Google changed their search algorithm to remove content farms - April 2011
Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hurray Mr. Engineer
Monday, 22 June 2009

Student status coming to an end
Monday, 08 June 2009

WebHost: never-ending
Friday, 20 March 2009

All work and no value
Monday, 23 February 2009

Apology
Friday, 13 February 2009

Wrong number! No way!
Monday, 22 December 2008

Internet Explorer Flaws keep on coming
Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Trip to Cluj, Sept. 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008

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Why is it that most people that have no, or rather limited, computer skills think that creating anything on your computer takes a couple of minutes?

And why is it that they always think you are overcharging them, most of all when you actually try to save them some money by being an idiot and cutting down some of your already worked hours?

I think that any developer, be it software, web, design, animator, went thru a period of his life when he had, or at least felt the need, to explain why a "simple" operation takes so much time, in the eyes of the client.

There are those that don't ask o many questions. Pay and if the price was what they had in mind, will return. These are usually those that

  • have already tried to do the work on their own but, for different reasons, realized that they couldn't
  • tried to find a neighbors' kid to do the work but the end result didn't quite feel right (if any)
  • being afraid that they were getting scammed, contracted a large firm to do the work but ended up in paying several times the original price

People have to realize that developing anything on a computer takes time. The time varies according to the project.

In general every time you have to do something, as a developer I mean, you have to find just the right set of tools for the job (that you initially discussed and agreed upon with the client). The problem is that usually tools for doing exactly what you need are rare (if even exist for the task-at-hand) or extremely expensive.

Getting over this part, the beauty of developing anything on a computer is the possibility to change something without having to actually redo everything. The bad part of it is that the client knows this and because they think that everything is so simple in the computer world, they ask for different modifications, in their eyes all taking a second to implement. GROW UP! I can't speak for all developers out there but I know that just because you are asked to do something in the first place, doesn't mean that the product can be altered on any level at any time, just on the clients' own free will.

There is also the fact that the client thinks that he is always right. As long as he has the money to back it up, he is. If not, they should really rethink that "you are working for me now so you have to do what I want when I want". First of all, we do have a life. At least most of us. Secondly you are probably not our only client, and possibly not even the best-paying one.

Don't get me wrong. I've done some "volunteer" work in my time, and probably still will, but that was because I wanted to. There were times I didn't charge much even though I worked ten times the normal time just to make the product better for the clients' needs, because of a long-forgotten tie or a fading-hint of respect-coated obligation.

These rules apply to most fields of work, not just IT, but the more contact the client has with something in that field, the more he thinks he knows the truth behind it all. Most of the time he is wrong, but we are all humans and so we must agree to discuss all these problems.

If you are a potential client for any type of service, provided by anyone, don't jump into anything without talking about all the details, including payment. Before anything is actually started, you must both agree on all terms, or the above might happen.

Developers, make sure that you explain to the client why your prices are what they are, why it takes so long to do what you do, but don't patronize them as they will go for someone else.

The best advice I can give you is to let them, gently, know that you can do the work better than they can. Always make sure that both sides agree on the cost (be it per product or per working hour) and on what the product will include, or you will end up being asked to do additional work, not included in the contract and possibly won't get paid for that part (as everything we do is so simple).

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