Hot answers tagged

125

Items 1, 2 and 4 are what you'd hope them to be - it's ethical, legal, and relatively common-place. That said, Item 3 is where you should be concerned. And to help illustrate it, I'm going to translate it to a different situation (with the same basic point) Scenario You go to an interview for a new job, and the interviewer asks, "So, what's your ...


114

Just ask what you should bill your time on instead. Archive those e-mails in case someone higher up ask you why you are charging your time the way you do. Depending on the answer, you have to decide. Can that work against you or is it a outright lie (on another project / Education etc.) or is it just a biased opinion kind of thing (general internal ...


90

Yes, your best bet is to charge only for the ten sessions you agreed to, even if you actually gave more. Why? It was your mistake. Never charge a customer for something that is your mistake. The customer might not have any extra money available, and might have stopped taking sessions if they thought they were going to be charged more. They would certainly ...


89

Your question was, I can't seriously be held responsible for this, right? Based on what you said here, I never signed anything saying that I'd owe them money if I quit - I have a copy of the signed employee agreement with nothing anywhere close to that in it. The AutoCAD license was installed on a work computer that never went home with me and I ...


79

My position would be that you did the work and therefore you should be paid for it in full. The fact that you forgot to invoice them doesn't change that. Given the circumstances, you probably don't want to be sending out an invoice saying "Payment due in 30 days", but I'd hope that if you talk to them, they'd be able to come up with a means of paying you in ...


68

If it costs time, it costs money. The client should provide all the information needed to get started, including documentation of their system if it exists. From experience, it doesn't usually. There are a number of variables here that both the client and the programmer need to take into account, although this list isn't exhaustive: Quality of the code ...


62

Oh, keep this, and your signed agreement in a very secure location. Depending on your location, you may be needing them for a civil suit. Your employer will probably end up wishing that it only cost them $7000. FWIW: I am inferring the U.S. because of the currency denomination. You might want to specify a location tag.


60

It depends. On the most part you do not bill for your education. Your 'payment' for it is the fact that you now have more experience and a more diversified skill set - that is in itself valuable. However, this is conditional on the popularity of the framework. Some people end up working with arcane or very niche technologies, and the typical going ...


55

Create a billable unit (some places use 6 minutes, some 10, some 15) - make sure that these clients are aware that a phone conversation or small task will be charged at the billable rate. Keep a record of each task/conversation and add up the units and hand over a monthly invoice. Yes, this means that three two minute tasks for three different customers ...


51

I am a techy but my father was a salesman and he would say once you give away product or services for free you have established your price. Establish a support contract. Bill in increments and round up.


38

"Look, I hate to say this, but I'm running a business, and I can't afford to spend an unlimited number of hours doing free customer support. A certain amount of that was budgeted into the contract, but we've already gone past that. I'd be glad to continue answering these small questions for you, but it will have to be at my usual hourly rate, or we'll need ...


37

Ultimately it's down to whatever you can negotiate with your client. If it were me I would consider a minimum payment for being woken up at all, even if no work is done. This is like the 'call-out charge' for a plumber who comes out to your house and finds there is nothing to do. You still have to pay him a minimum fee for having him show up. The other ...


37

I can't seriously be held responsible for this, right? Right. It's a bluff to see if you would pay anyway. Should I respond that I'm not paying, or just ignore this? I would respond once and only once with something like: "Since my employment agreement said nothing about being required to reimburse any training expenses if I left, I will not do so. ...


33

All this has to be paid for by him, generally how much time should be expected to understand his system? Is it uncommon to bill him for say a day or two if all I'm doing is understanding his system? In order to fix the bugs, you need to understand the system. (Or at least you should understand the system.) In order to understand the system, you need to ...


32

You pay humans to do work, not machines. This is an important factor to take into consideration. Some people take a break and produce much more work when they return vs. trying to push through. Bathroom breaks as well are part of the situation as humans have to relieve themselves. This is usually a "reasonability" analysis. Various countries and ...


31

Am I overreacting? Yes, to some extent. You should let your boss decide how this project will be handled in terms of cost management. Could my boss's communication come back to haunt me (us) if we were audited? This one is bit harder to answer but, active participation in a project can be interpreted in many ways. You, as a software architect, may be ...


29

Have a discussion, apologise, invoice and move on You did the work, so you should get paid in full. However, invoicing so late may cause your client some issues with cash flow. You should send a polite email to your contact there, explaining that you were busy and forgot to invoice. If they are decent, they will ask you to invoice straight away. They may ...


26

What are billable hours? This is the first question you need to answer to know what the right answer is. Your question implies that you think billable hours are the time that was actively spent delivering a product or service to you. This is notably different from a definition where billable hours are the time that had to be spent in order to deliver the ...


23

This is something that should be spelled out in the contract you have with the clients. If the client wants to own absolutely every line of code, they have to pay for its production, you have to re-implement the same functionality for the other client, and you can't use a common framework. If the client wants a lower cost, they don't get to own every line ...


16

Some contractors work on a "every started hour is billed as full hour" basis, which means you have to bill the full hour. For working in the night you can bill 100% more, meaning that this work will cost as 2 full hours (but it will cost so no matter if it took 10 or 59 minutes)


16

Are there any generally accepted guidelines for whether logging time should be done on your own time or on the clock (whether legal or cultural)? Of course, details will depend on your jurisdiction, your work or employment contract and company rules - however, the general rule is: Logging time, writing report etc. are a required part of your job, so ...


16

You don't have to do a thing, but there are ways to handle it. In some countries like the US, it may be better to stay silent or ask a lawyer (which costs!), because the law can be very harsh and expensive if done wrong. If you're more sure of writing, then you can probably sort this out yourself. I'll sum up what I'd expect is a good approach, but you may ...


15

Some customers want you to write your code, strictly for them. I can understand this, especially if your code is contractually owned and proprietary to your customer. However, this isn't always plausible. No. If your contract states that you are to write your own code, strictly for them, then you write your own code, strictly for them. If you don't, and ...


14

It seems to me that the actual question here is: is Joe worth the money I’m paying him or not? And that kind of question is better answered over time, say, in the last 3 months: on one hand, having Joe on the team made me “X amount of money”, and on the other, hand I payed him “Y amount of money”. For every context there is probably more to the equation, ...


14

I don't believe you should directly bill for this type of thing., However, your hourly rate should be high enough to allow you to spend time on educating yourself for all clients and for other down time (when you have no work or are doing administrative tasks like creating bills or looking for new jobs). So suppose you want to make (numbers completely made ...


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