Mr Kenneth Koh, a fellow blogger wrote an interesting article about the relationship between the client and the developer and the things to look for and avoid when you need work done on an software or website development project. It’s a good article and very informative. You can find it here. But as a freelancer and developer, I had my own two-cents to chip in.
I agree with a lot of what you have to say Kenneth and Gerald, I feel your pain, but don’t give up hope on finding someone that can really help you.
I think the key problem that arises between client and developer is honesty. A lot of developers and consultants that I know personally are not honest with their clients and potential clients. I have gotten plenty of emergency calls from them, when they have taken on a project that they do not have the skills to complete. The lure of the almighty dollar makes them say, “YES, I CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT!” That is not my style. I do not personally work with Macromedia Flash, so if you ask me for that, I will have to decline on that portion of your project. Being honest may have lost me a few contracts here and there, but those clients have always come back with other opportunities for me, because they appreciate my honesty.
As far as deadlines are concerned, many clients have lofty expectations in that area. As Kenneth said, some projects can change rapidly based on a client’s whim. I just ask that clients keep in mind that the development process is not an easy one and while some changes and modifications might take a minute, others can take days.
The old adage, “You get what you pay for.” is not always true though. I have had to step in for several clients that paid abnormally high rates for work that was sub-par to say the least, so you can’t always use higher price as an indication of good work.
The bottom line is, do your research, check out previous developer/freelancer projects, ask for references, shop your idea/project around and most importantly be honest about deadlines and expectations and let the developer/freelancer know you expect the same from them.
If you have any ideas or projects on your mind, contact me and I would be glad to work with you on making them a reality.