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Project’s Hassles: To Fellow Freelancer

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I do mistake like many people and I won't you have same mistake with me. There's alot IS (Information System) projects in this world. You could involved as many projects as you wish and make sum of money from your works. Somehow, you would found some projects that hassles. Don't make your head dizzy with uncomforted felling. I found that we should avoid marketing language like "Yes, We Can" but the conditions are not supporting the statement.

Many developer like me, felling so wrong when in the middle of projects which contains politics which come from many source, not just from clients but also outsourcer. The good and understanding clients and outsourcer population are numerous. You would find one or two troubled partner / clients every 10 clients. So, how to avoid it? I would give you some of my freelance experience.

These are my lists :

  1. Ask them the underlaying platform which regularly use as server. They owned one or not? is the server contains virus or not? is the network system is work fine? check anything you could ask.
  2. If you need continuing previous developer work, don't too fast to give positive answer to them. Ask them to see the source before you begin, if the application confidential and many not be spread then read on the spot. If you fell uncertain then STOP! and said that you won't do it. You show them a good willing to know the problem, if you can't handle just say to them. If they force, put the project value at higher rate, maybe about 300% higher from project value at minimum. If you felt that you could done it, then take it and ignore the rules.
  3. Say to them: "I won't my work is unrealible and fragile". Why? we must do the analysis and the rest of system development life-cycle to ensure the credibility of our works. If the time is tight, you have 2 choices; First option, reject immediately. Second option, your marketing and sales speeches.
  4. Charge some additional cost for maintenance, when you need to do it. Don't make clients thinks it cheap, because we need transporation and they need to appreciate our work. This problems existed in our beloved country and make other developers struggle to offering the cheapest, yet low quality solution. This also applicable to list #1, if you're asked to reinstall the system.
  5. Clearify the payment method and process. Protect your code as you wish and crippling the functions in time basis.
  6. If they much complaining then you must see the list #3. Development needs sense of time.
  7. Make a contract, save yourself.
  8. Avoid back to back payment, avoid this one. This should the list #0 but I am learning to count numbers.
  9. Call your reliable developer friend to help out, it would cost you but it could save you from nightmare.
  10. If they are outsourcer, just trying to held a discussion before doing the project. Don't forget the list #7.

I wish you could save yourself from unfinished work and continuing previous developer work. I call my self as "dishwasher developer" or "tukang cuci piring" in Bahasa Indonesia. I found many troubled customize application and some of it become complicated, I found an undone application doing by previous developer, I take the project without further thinking and I want to release my self from it but I need to make it done. Do you want to help? contact me. An accounting application is based on mambo (laugh out loud if you can) and the outsourcer want to use it (now laugh it louder) and clients get a headache because of this. Have you ever heard an accounting application build over a MAMBO CMS? This is not wise to say, but the previous developer is opportunist without thinking the impact of their program to the clients.

To offer good solution, I reengineering the previous work by using ASP.NET. You need to know that you must not deal with this kind of developer, lack of understanding of the information system. And must importantly don't be part of it, take the developer who have good understanding in computing. Freelancer you need to pretend as System Analyst too, if you had to do a project.

Good Luck and stay away from troubles!.