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Six ways to be a better client for your developer – Point 2

Point 1 – Understand that you alone know the problem

super duperDear Reader,

Are you a good client for your freelance programmer? I hear both sides of this conversation from different friends. Freelancers complain that clients and potential clients just don’t have a clue. They feel the need to figure out what the client needs instead of listening to what the client wants. Clients complain that no matter how much they explain what they want, the developer is rarely listening and is usually just waiting to speak.

For the purposes of this article series, I will use the word developer when I mean freelance developer, internal development team or external development company. Most of these points apply to all three.

Understand that they probably know the best solution

Look, if you could do this yourself, you would. The fact of the matter is there is just no such thing as “I *just* need a shopping cart.” Do you have any idea how complex a shopping cart is? Even modules for things like Drupal, WordPress or Joomla require setup and proper configuration. If you think it’s easy, please refer to Cal’s First Rule of Programming for Non-programmers.

“Programming is hard. If it looks easy, it’s because I’m good at it.”

Never assume that the task you want is simple. Also, never assume that you know the proper way to implement a solution. Don’t start the meeting with “I need a Drual site.” because your brother-in-law’s niece says that Drupal is the way to go. Let your developer help you figure out the solution you need. Just like you want them to listen to the problem, listen to them when they propose a solution. Make sure their solution matches up point-for-point with the problem you stated but honestly, they are the experts on building software, let them do their job.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
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