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  1. #26
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Outsource!!

    If I was in that position I'd still take on the job and do the graphic design and content of the site (that is my expertise anyway) then hire one of my ASP programmer friends to handle the building, etc.

    I don't know if my way of doing things will change in a few years but for now handling jobs this way works very well for me.




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  2. #27
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    outsource it: get the client.... get a freelance developer.... Do the quality control and make a bit of profit.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    If a PHP coder jumps straight into ASP.NET for the first time for one of my projects, I certainly wouldn't trust his work. Any programmer could make something work in a new language relatively quickly, but making it work efficiently and securely are a whole different matter.
    I am quite sure that many people would feel the same way, but for me was the other way around. I started with Visual Basic, then ASP and then PHP. Although now I use more PHP than anything else, I still program in the other two. That's what I say that syntax is different, although not as much as not to grasp it quickly.

    About security, if the programmer is good, he will make a good work too, because he will be concious of how important it is. So he will get himself informed how to enhance security using the new language. True, an expert is supposed to do it better, but that also depends on how professional the programmer is.

  4. #29
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I have met some programmers that were able to switch languages very easily and do quality work. This is not very common in my experience, but there are people who can do it. Usually, they are the type that have been programming from many years with a firm foundation.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard TheRedDevil's Avatar
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    You have forgot one possibility.

    Sometimes possible clients just throw around "buzz words" they have heard friends or someone else mention without actually knowing what it is or why they want it. Someone they trust, just told them that they wanted language x.

    I always ask the client why they want the project completed in that language etc. Most of the times they cant answer the question properly, they just say its because xxx said it would be best.

    In these cases you already have the upper hand. Follow up with questions, i.e. what their requirements are, what they need the application/webpage to archive and so on.

    In the end when you know the the clients requirements, and if its possible to do it in language y then explain this to the client and throw him a ballpark quote for the work, and ask for the job. Remember to explain that the quote, is just a ballpark number from similar jobs and that you would need to come in to discuss the project further before beeing able to give a exact quote.

    If you manage to impress the client, you will get the project most of the times, even if it ends up beeing created in a different language than they first wanted.

    Of course, if you know what they want to archive wont be possible in language y then the best thing to do is to apologize tot he client, saying you cant help him/her but you can refer them to yyy which works with that language.

  6. #31
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    Through out all my networking situations I keep close tabs on what people I know who could possibly help me in situations where a client/prospect wants me to do something that I can't handle inhouse. In those situations I setup an agreement to refer the business to a qualified individual at a 10% referal fee. It works out for everyone, they get the business with out having to spend the time/money on marketing/business development and I get reimbursed for the marketing/business development that lead me to that client.

  7. #32
    Design and Promotion Crimson77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRedDevil View Post
    You have forgot one possibility.

    Sometimes possible clients just throw around "buzz words" they have heard friends or someone else mention without actually knowing what it is or why they want it. Someone they trust, just told them that they wanted language x.

    I always ask the client why they want the project completed in that language etc. Most of the times they cant answer the question properly, they just say its because xxx said it would be best.

    In these cases you already have the upper hand. Follow up with questions, i.e. what their requirements are, what they need the application/webpage to archive and so on.

    In the end when you know the the clients requirements, and if its possible to do it in language y then explain this to the client and throw him a ballpark quote for the work, and ask for the job. Remember to explain that the quote, is just a ballpark number from similar jobs and that you would need to come in to discuss the project further before beeing able to give a exact quote.

    If you manage to impress the client, you will get the project most of the times, even if it ends up beeing created in a different language than they first wanted.

    Of course, if you know what they want to archive wont be possible in language y then the best thing to do is to apologize tot he client, saying you cant help him/her but you can refer them to yyy which works with that language.
    Red Devil makes a good point. If you can first understand the purpose of the code you can often refer them to option D.

    The same applies to any competing, product, service, language or program.

    It's like a client saying I need you to use illustrator to achieve a task when really you could have used any vector based program. (personally I'd use illustrator anyway, but that's beside the point.)

    In the case of PHP vs ASP it can often cost them a lot less to change their hosting platform especially as the site startup than having to hire a language specific programmer.

    The size of the job is also a consideration.

    If it was a small bit of tweaking to the ASP to add a new feature I may be willing to take the job as a loss simply to learn how to do it.

    This isn't always my answer. Again, it depends on the size and requirements of the job and client.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by dvduval View Post
    I'm curious what you do when you receive requests for work that fall outside your specialty. For example, if you are a PHP coder, and someone needs some ASP work, how do you handle it?

    Here are a few choices:
    1. Decline the work
    2. Refer the client to a friend
    3. Find a freelancer that can do it and still charge the customer directly
    (you may have other solutions)
    (you may have other solutions) > Buy the book.

    Although, if it was ASP work, I would try to talk them into a more useful server side language, or just let them keep on looking.

  9. #34
    PHP/Rails Developer Czaries's Avatar
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    TheRedDevil cetainly has made a good point - It's exactly what I thought of saying after reading through just a handful of replies on the first page of this thread, only with a slightly different twist.

    Your role as a professional in a field that your client knows nothing about (like web design) is also to serve as an adviser to your client. If they are asking for ASP work, then they are asking you to write code in an old, unsupported, deprecated language. Microsoft (and the rest of the world) has moved on to .NET / ASP.NET. If they have an existing codebase in ASP and only need some improvements, then fine. If they are looking to get a new project done in ASP, you had better be advising them against it, unless they actually mean ASP.NET.

    Like Red Devil said, sometimes clients ask for things based on a single word, product name, etc. But there are many other (possibly even better) alternatives out there, and it's your job to tell your client about them.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Enthusiast ewin's Avatar
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    dvduval -
    I'd suggest partnering with firm that handles requests that you receive frequently, however are unable to fulfill in-house. Establish a relationship with them, and ask that they refer work to you, which you specialize in. Other IT/web firms are a great source for relationships like this. I wrote an article a while back about vendor relationships for web developers that you might like to checkout.

    Quote Originally Posted by dvduval View Post
    I'm curious what you do when you receive requests for work that fall outside your specialty. For example, if you are a PHP coder, and someone needs some ASP work, how do you handle it?

    Here are a few choices:
    1. Decline the work
    2. Refer the client to a friend
    3. Find a freelancer that can do it and still charge the customer directly
    (you may have other solutions)
    Josh Ewin, Director of Marketing
    Solar VPS - The Best Price to Performance Ratio In Cloud and VPS Hosting

  11. #36
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    They are really not that different. But it does take some time to get used to. More time, more effort on your part. But if you've accepted and done one, then you've already acquired a few skills to accept further ASP jobs, in future jobs you'll be more familiar with ASP and work faster.

  12. #37
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    I also would not go for Option 3 if the job requested is beyond my skill set.

    However... I would propose that I could "project manage" the job for the
    client by outsourcing it if you do have some knowledge of the skills needed
    to do it (if that is an option for him), meaning that I could find someone who
    does have the appropriate expertise to do a good job for them.

    That way, the client would feel that I am being honest with them right from
    the get-go. And even if he did not take me up on this in this particular case,
    then there's no harm done.

    Doing it this way would still keep the door open for possible future
    collaborations with them, i.e., since no harm has been done to our business
    relationship, hopefully, they would still feel free to contact me for future
    quotations and advice when they need as they feel that I am someone they
    can trust and has integrity.

    IMHO, taking on a job you know nothing about how is just asking for trouble.
    It may not happen now if the client is satisfied with what you have give him
    now (by outsourcing the project, for example).

    But what if the client comes back again in 12-18 months time and asks you
    to make major changes to the same project and the freelancer you originally
    gave it to is too busy to take on the job or is no longer contactable?

    Then potentially, you could be in deep trouble and on the verge of screwing
    up a good working relationship with the client, especially if he needs it done
    urgently....

    Developing and maintaining long-term trust with clients far outweighs
    short-term cash gains. It's just not worth it in my opinion.

    Cheers,
    Jason

  13. #38
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Good call Jason. My only addition would be that you will want to be clear to the client that ASP (for example) isn't your strength, and that you will be managing the project with a coworker. Most clients are fine with this. Some aren't, in which case you can offer to make an intro.

    But, the worst thing you can do, if you care about the client relationship, is to try and pickup a new language / framework / etc in a weekend. You'll miss things, you'll muck things up and you'll make major mistakes. It's the nature of the beast. Doing this is fine if it's your full-time job to maintain that project (or part of it), becuase you can come back to it. But, really, what's the likelihood you'll come back to that client work in 6 months (nevermind that you'll suddenly be better at a language you hadn't used in your career until that point).

    Your best bet, by far, is to either refer or manage the project.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy W. View Post
    the worst thing you can do, if you care about the client relationship, is to try and pickup a new language / framework / etc in a weekend. You'll miss things, you'll muck things up and you'll make major mistakes. It's the nature of the beast ...
    Your best bet, by far, is to either refer or manage the project.
    Great post!

  15. #40
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    I take on a freelancer and charge the client

    My company uses freelance services a lot, since we are very small and this way we can provide a wide range of services as needed. I've built up a network of freelancers with different skills. I actually had a situation where someone asked me to fix up their ASP site, and while we generally only deal with PHP, I knew an ASP programmer who wanted to do some freelance work and she did the work, I charged the client. In order to make this worth my while, since I still had to manage the project and client, I add on a percentage to what the freelancer quoted, and the project gets done.

    This works out well for everyone: the customer gets my quality guarantee, the freelancer gets work they wouldn't have had otherwise and gets the price they wanted, and I make money off of it too.
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  16. #41
    SitePoint Enthusiast godlover's Avatar
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    you would go to http://www.rentacoder.com and rent a coder.
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  17. #42
    SitePoint Addict stu567blue's Avatar
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    My Personal response to this type of question would be, I'm not competent in ASP programming, however, if you would not mind being my testing client then I wouldn't mind having a good old fashioned bash at the ASP coding.

    Then depending on the clients response i.e. yes or no, would then depend on my answer. If it was yes, then I would use books, resources the net and this website to aid me with the design and if it was ano then I would give him the phone number of someone I know who does ASP coding.


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