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Six ways to be a better client for your developer – Point 6

Dear Reader,

Point 1 – Understand that you alone know the problem
Point 2 – Understand that they probably know the best solution
Point 3 – Don’t be sold a solution
Point 4 – Don’t set a deadline, set milestones
Point 5 – Know your budget

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.

Do the paperwork

Good fences make good neighbors just as good contracts make for good developer/client relations. At the very least your agreement with your developer should contain a complete description – in non-vague terms – of each feature to be built as well as a paragraph description of the overall project. Remember if it is not described in this document, your developer will nt build it. Read it over carefully; don’t assume they mean “shopping cart with UPS, FedEx and DHL shipping options” if it just says “shopping cart”. The contract should describe exactly what is to be built, how much you are willing to pay and a payment schedule tied to features or milestones. If negotiating the contract with your developer is a hassle, consider it your last opportunity to walk away and find another developer.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
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