Freelancer and customer. Interaction

    Everyone who deals with IT in one form or another has somehow come across / heard that there is such a thing as freelance. As it might seem at first glance, freelance carries some advantages. Neither do you need an employee in the office for whom you need to organize a workplace, or problems with applying for it according to the Labor Code and subsequent dismissal (if you hire for a clearly defined amount of work). Also, the cost of a freelancer, as a rule, is from 2 to 20 times less than that of a company offering the same services.

    However, there is a huge amount of negative experience working with freelance. About its priins and possible solutions - under the cut


    And why, in fact, I have to read all this, you ask me? Because I have been working in this area for the fourth year, having accumulated decent experience in working as a freelancer and as a project manager, and then as the head of a team of programmers. All that I write will be a squeeze from my own experience, which, as you know, is the son of difficult mistakes. In addition, I will try to evaluate the work at each stage from two sides - from the customer and the freelancer. I hope that this will help to replenish the number of professional performers on the one hand and, on the other, to get a larger number of thoughtful projects.

    Stage One. Formulation of the problem

    This stage is more likely for the customer than for the freelancer. First of all, forget that your relatives know how to do something. I worked in two different areas - car services and programming, and from both I came up with the iron rule - with relatives, either for free or not at all. The same applies to friends, building a business with them competently is a huge science, which is not subject to everyone. History is replete with examples when working with a friend brought only disappointment and a project dumped into zero.

    The second thing to think about is whether you want to control this process yourself, or if you want to entrust this to the manager. If you decide to go the first way, then get ready to spend time on it. At least an hour a day, or better, a couple. Work on the project, controlling the result once a week will not work. Even a business card site requires at least half an hour a day of attention, not to mention larger desktop projects.

    Here, by the way, it will not be amiss to dispel the myth of managers. In small firms / communities of freelancers, the manager performs a lot of roles - he is usually familiar with programming and can even act as an application architect. It heaps together the sources that are received from different artists, resolves internal conflicts that, if there are more than 1 programmers, are inevitable, it is a buffer between programmers and you as a customer, since programmers are not always wonderful people in communicating with, and with customers it’s not at all lovers of asking questions. He will control the progress of the project, distribute tasks (one thing is to write “I want a program” and another is to break Wishlist into the correct sequence of interconnected tasks). Also, as a rule, having experience working with customers, the project manager can ask questions, which you don’t even think about, but programmers think. If you work directly with the programmers themselves, then they will fulfill these questions as they are not covered as they see fit, which can adversely affect the important characteristics of the application. So the manager in small freelance communities / companies is an important element of the process, which is not busy with the transfer of pieces of paper. This is not Gazprom. And if you meet this item of expenditure in a commercial proposal - you do not need to yell that this is an excessive expenditure of funds. Estimate the hour of your work, take the approximate number of people employed in the development process, multiply this number by 1 hour, and multiply by the number of days during which the project will last - I'm more than sure that if you value your time, it will convince you need such a person in the team.

    Next, sit down and imagine in detail what needs to be done. If you have already made up the statement of work, this is gorgeous. If not, then try to describe what you would like to see in the project in a free form. Then go to the next step.

    Stage Two. The choice


    In this article, I consider only Russian large exchanges. The choice, of course, is yours; the rating of exchanges is easily google.

    After that we publish the project. What should be specified in the project?

    Title. As a rule, no one sits on sites and does not press F5. All sites have RSS APIs. through which any program with this function, whether it is a mailer or special equipment, can pick up projects. As a rule, in such programs, projects are displayed as a list of headers. Even if this is not so, here is a simple example - working with 6 exchanges brings about 2 thousand projects per day. Naturally, everyone will not be able to read physically. Accordingly, they are all viewed by headings. refuse such uninformative feces as “project”, “performer is required”, “urgently”. The chances of finding the artist you want will increase dramatically if you indicate the subject of the conversation. “Business card site”, “clinic software”, “course required” :))) is much more informative, and will at least make it clear whether it is worth viewing the message.

    The body of the message. Do not write war and peace. Do not copy the TK into the request body. If you have it ready - attach it as a separate file to the project - anyone who is interested - will download and watch it yourself with great comfort. The message should briefly describe what you want to see.

    Contacts. This is a moot point. As a rule, all sites provide the opportunity to communicate in the form of chat, which is convenient and understandable, and always have at hand all correspondence with everyone. Indication of contacts is the same. especially for a project like "site required", it is guaranteed to bring you in contact with 30-40 people in the first day. And then this gimmick will continue. until the project is removed from publication. talking with such a handful of people in ICQ / Skype is much more uncomfortable, but this is my IMHO. On the other hand, if you need to do a project now, then specifying contacts is one way to speed up and simplify the procedure.

    Project budget. It must be indicated if it is defined. Those. in case you are sure that these works will cost exactly that much. On the one hand, this will make it possible to interest professional performers if the price is adequate, on the other hand, it will help to avoid unnecessary communication if the budget is small.


    I will not, again, list exchanges and so on. I won’t give any tips for a quick start either, a lot has been written about it in the first place, and secondly, everyone has their own way. We proceed directly to the choice of the project, which is worth answering.

    To get started, pay attention to the grammar. IMHO - the most serious indicator. If the sentence is all in mistakes, from which it reduces cheekbones - I prefer not to get involved.

    The second point is the project budget. If it suits you, go to the next step. If it is too low - take a look, it may make sense to make a project and get a profit in the form of feedback, or maybe the project is just interesting and will be useful for self-development. If the cost, in your opinion, is high - do not rush to respond to this project and think. In everything, gradualness is important. I, too, at first was happy about projects for 1 month with a budget of 7 tr, but I went along the path of increasing budgets gradually. If you think that they pay a lot of money, this means that:

    a) the project must be completed at a level that you may not have reached before
    b) the project will be much more complicated than it seems at first glance
    c) the project will be executed with a huge creak, for which you are not ready

    In any case, if your regular projects are at the level of 100 tr, and you see the project at 500, then this is an occasion to think carefully. Here, by the way, you can try to reduce the price, but at the same time you need to accurately and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the project. To fall in price and find out later that it was in vain is not the most successful scenario.

    The next criterion for evaluating the project is the description of the task. If there is a description of the project, read it. The most dangerous thing at this stage is a similar project. If it correlates with what you did earlier, then there is a temptation not to read TK. A fig, did you? What it is fraught with, telling, I hope it is not necessary)
    If the customer has not provided TK - you can offer him to write it, or make a prototype, the benefit of programs and services that provide such an opportunity - eat at least one place.

    If everything suits you, feel free to write a request. A few rules:

    a) do not write a request of the form “staked out a place”. Annoying worse than an illiterate written application. If you do not have 10 minutes to write an application, then what for you this project
    b) do not write too short or too long an application. Comments like “I'll do it!” Should not be found, as well as a full biography. The ideal answer, in my opinion, can be an answer containing a greeting (required!), 2-4 terms with a response to the application, contacts (do not be lazy, not every artist gets into your profile to see your ICQ or Skype) and a signature.
    c) it will not be superfluous to ask a clarifying question or a couple in the application (no longer needed). This will help start a dialogue on the project. Beware of illiterate questions, for each area they are different.
    d) it’s absolutely wonderful to indicate a fork in prices and terms for the project. You can specify them approximately, as well as what the change in the positive / negative side depends on.

    Part three. Communication

    Applies to both the customer and the contractor. Now it has become very fashionable to turn to “you”. That's how they brought me up, but it really disturbs me when both customers and performers start poking from the first lines. This is quite acceptable, if you were asked whether it is possible to switch to you, then it is not accepted to refuse, but if you started right from the doorway, there is reason to think.


    Look at those who answered your project. If you read the whole article, then you should pay attention to filling out the applications, which are described in the second part. If you have seen rudeness in the answers, then it is better not to mess with such a person - the result will disappoint.

    It is also worth seeing how freelancer will operate with professional terms and how ready to explain incomprehensible moments to you. It’s not a shame to ask here, but rather welcome, as you pay money. and if you are offered a choice of php or asp, then you should figure out what kind of animals they apply to you. Those. I do not urge to understand the server features of these technologies, I suggest you ask the contractor what this threatens me with. Answers of the form “yes, in fact, the same thing” - right there in the firebox. At least, these are different hosting services, and if you already have a site on some site under php, with a high degree of probability the site on asp cannot be hooked to it. The same goes for software development technologies for the desktop. The contractor must help you make an informed choice, if any.


    First of all, when you start negotiations, do not be afraid to answer questions and propose options. Moreover, the latter, if there are differences in implementation, is not bad to reinforce with influence on the timing and cost. For example, “Software can be implemented in C # or C ++. The latter option will increase the cost by 15 tr and the development period is 2 weeks, but it will give (here describe some kind of goodies for which you generally started this conversation). ” Feel free to answer, only a conversation will strengthen your relationship with the customer. You don’t have to laugh at the customer who asked you to explain what html is. He has a task and money, and he is not obliged to be a specialist in this field. The ideal solution is to post a series of articles with common truths on your website. Then you can always a) not write mountains of text again and b) show your site again.

    At this stage, as a rule, both the customer and the freelancer are already able to communicate to understand whether this person is suitable for collaboration. Concerns again all - avoid working with those who are not pleasant to you. This is the lot of companies, and we didn’t go to freelance for this, right? No matter what money the project promises, if there is no way to achieve mutual understanding, it will be unnecessary nerves on both sides and dissatisfaction with the completion of the project. Do you need it? :)

    All with the upcoming.

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