Thursday, May 29, 2008

Less Than Technical Clients

You know the old expression, "the customer is always the boss" ? Well, this story takes that expression to the outer limits ... and then over the proverbial ledge!

The very worst clients are those who have already estimated how long your work should take. In my experience, such conversations often go like this:

Client: "I've been looking at this module and think it should take 10 hours to complete."

Me: "How do you figure that?"

Client - Version 1: "I used to be quite good at building Excel spreadsheets. This data looks a little bit similar to a spreadsheet I put together 7 years ago."

Client - Version 2: "A long time ago [when I was just a code-monkey like you are now] I tinkered with DBase 4. So I know how long these things take to build."

Such comments are made with sincere conviction. These people actually believe that they know as much, if not more, about building software than you do. If such applications are "so simple" to build then why don't they build them themselves? But I've never had the nerve to ask that! question!

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