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  1. #1
    From downunder but sure 2 rise Hazardous's Avatar
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    Charging for learning time

    Hi there,

    I have a possible client wishing to build a unique website using some technology that i'm not too fimiliar with, to complete the project I would need to read up on certain aspects.

    I feel that what ever time is spent on this project will be included in the total price of the project and I feel that the specifics that I need to learn about will almost not be used by another client.

    Should I be charging for learning time?
    What are your views?

  2. #2
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    My policy on this is:

    If it's a skill that I 'should' know per industry standards then I won't bill for it.

    If it's a skill that is a bit obscure and I am exclusively learning it for this project, I might bill a bit for it but also absorb some of the learning time.

    If it's a skill that I'd never use if it weren't for this client, and may never use again, I bill for it.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  3. #3
    From downunder but sure 2 rise Hazardous's Avatar
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    Thanks, it's sort of the way I feel but the client feels that what I learn will be used in the future for furture clients. I don't think thats the case. I feel it's going to be used on this and only this application

    Looking at it from his perspective i would expect the developer to absorb some of this cost.

    I think i'll do just that absorb some of the cost of learning time


    Thanks again, it's good to get a neutral opinion on this

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot chihpih's Avatar
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    For example lets say you are a great php/mysql developer and has been hired to create a financial website. In order to build it you need to understand how financial transactions are performed, how things get calculated, etc. In order for you to complete it you will need to learn new things, therefore you should definately bill for it.
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  5. #5
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Yea, thats a great example!

    Along the same lines, if that same php/mysql developer was supposed to install that website onto a Unix server and his/her unix skills weren't so great, that might be considered an 'expected skill' so they might not want to bill for that kind of learning time.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    I'm currently in discussions for a site to be built with an ORACLE database backend, while my own experiences are purely MySQL. The fees I've quotes are slightly higher than if it were pure mysql, this will allow me to a) investigate just how much different ORACLE is with regard to the functionality required for this application and b) decide whether to learn what I need to know (can't be a bad thing if I have the time) or just outsource all the oracle bits and bobs to another company (most likely).

    But I wouldn't bill them for learning time - after all, I did tell them ORACLE wouldn't be a problem for me (it's a nice meaty 40K+ project, so I needed to wing it somewhat to keep in the loop).

  7. #7
    From downunder but sure 2 rise Hazardous's Avatar
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    Thanks for the examples guys...time for me to have a hard think about things


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