Hi all. Just browsing the web today and spotted the job below if anyone is interested. Don’t know any more about it but I thought someone my want to follow it up.
The fixed price of $1k is probably muting the interest. If you account for the time it takes to correspond with them, read the MCC spec, and familiarize yourself with the codebase I’d wager you’re at $1k without even typing a line of code.
… although it appears in the time it took me to type that comment 3 more proposals were added.
it is 5 proposal in total now
I’m sure the people bidding on the project are fine developers, but I’ve made good money over the years by completing or fixing projects from client projects that went to the lowest bidder. Cheaper doesn’t mean it’s done right or on time.
What’s that old axiom? You can get it done cheaply, done right, or done on time. Pick two.
Perhaps the people bidding are fine developers (as Bob said) but there’s a lot of people who bid on projects in Elance who literally don’t even read the proposal, never mind know what “Xojo” is.
My bias is that I’d rather start a project from scratch than add, modify, or fix an existing code base. I can even imagine whipping together a small database program for $1k. So I’m not suggesting that it’s an enormous undertaking, but it’s brimming with unknowns. And to even locate those unknowns you’re gonna be hip deep; and presumably committing your reputation at that point to getting it done. At the very least I don’t think you could walk away without taking a hit (i.e. loss of time).
In this instance it’s possible that productive code time could come in at $1k. But the cost should reflect not just the overhead time, but also the level of risk that the programmer is taking on. I wish whomever gets this project all the best. I’d be interested in reading a post-mortem on a project such as this. The XDev magazine used to do them. I’m a fan of decision making based on data so having a task timer account for all the niggling details would be instructive.
small = simple
Funny story. A few years back a ‘small’ project showed up. We estimated about $4k worth of work which is pretty small for us. Got so far as the contract where we asked for 50% up front (again, not untypical for a project that size, for us anyway). The guy balked saying that in 30 years of working with developers he’d never been so insulted. We wouldn’t budge and moved on.
Over the course of several months I was contacted by at least 4 developers that had issues with a client and wanted advice on how to handle it. Without asking any specifics, I knew it was this client (too many similarities). I offered my advice of staying away and none did.
Eventually, someone eventually took the job with the promise that payment would be in full when the work was done. You can guess what happened. The guy balked when the project was done because of a number of reasons (none of which were that it didn’t work). So the guy got the executable (not the source code) but the developer was screwed out of the money owed to him.
If the developer had at least gotten half up-front he would have made something. Instead, he got nothing while the client got what he really wanted (an executable that did ‘x’).
Not sure about ELance but some of those sites don’t pay you until completion of the project and acceptance by the client.
This is a clause in my standard contract:
“Upon full payment the Developer hereby grants to Buyer, and Buyer hereby accepts, an unlimited, unrestricted, royalty-free, fully paid, worldwide and nonexclusive license to any software, documentation and information not first produced or created by or for Consultant as a result of the performance of work or the rendition of services under this agreement, but included in said work or services, provided Consultant holds copyright to said software, documentation, or information.”
So they wouldn’t have license to distribute it at least. I suppose if it was an in-house app they would “win.” But I would lose in either instance. So the lesson of your tale is acknowledged.
It’s not too difficult to win a case in court if someone stiffs you. We don’t use the deposit as a means to make sure we get paid. We use it as a means to reserve time on our schedule to start. If we have any misgivings about a clients ability to pay we simply don’t take the contract.
[quote=40860:@Joseph Claeys]“Upon full payment the Developer hereby grants to Buyer, and Buyer hereby accepts, an unlimited, unrestricted, royalty-free, fully paid, worldwide and nonexclusive license to any software, documentation and information not first produced or created by or for Consultant as a result of the performance of work or the rendition of services under this agreement, but included in said work or services, provided Consultant holds copyright to said software, documentation, or information.”
I have concerns about that depending on how you bill. If you are charging by the hour then it can be seen as a works for hire to some customers. Even if you don’t do by the hour its hard to settle on when “full payment” has been rendered. Many of our projects have ongoing retainers, support agreements, or require additional work. We give them the rights they are owed when we build it for them. Payment is an entirely different matter operating on a different schedule.
Its equally expensive though - and there’s no guarantee that even if you win you will get paid.
I have a couple outstanding judgements against people (not for work I’ve done but for other things) but they are virtually uncollectible.
[quote=40879:@Norman Palardy]Its equally expensive though - and there’s no guarantee that even if you win you will get paid.
I have a couple outstanding judgements against people (not for work I’ve done but for other things) but they are virtually uncollectible.[/quote]
Yes that has happened too. Like I said if we have any concerns about getting paid we simply don’t take the job. Remember many customers don’t know anything about software (hence they come to us). They are going out on a leap of faith as well that you can produce what they want.
I think aside from the obvious scammers I think being a reasonable person with good communication skills will solve most of the scenarios. Other times you chalk it up to the price of doing business and raise your rates for everyone accordingly.
I’ve never had to go to court over a software contract. But I do own rental property and thus evictions and subsequent outstanding amounts owed. Courts don’t collect so winning that battle is far from winning the war. I’ve had plenty of judgements I couldn’t collect on.
Oh yeah well rental property - heh, that’s an entirely different game.
I had one old client who I just kept raising my rate trying to get them to go find someone else to do the work as they were just such a pain in the rear end. By the end I had more than tripled my rate but they just liked me & my work and were happy to pay it.
At that point I couldn’t afford to NOT keep them as a client
Thankfully they never stiffed me either.