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#1 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:09 PM

I had someone who wanted me to build a site, I had an argument with him, he thought it could be programmed in 2 days.

Can the following, by any of you, be programmed in 2 days.

I was looking at around a week.
I built all the programming behind www.thecampussource.com in 2 weeks, the design isn't great, but it' has a huge backend/programming.

It took me 2 weeks, I was figuring I was knowing my programming  by now, he said he programmed a lot in the past, I don't doubt it, but he said he refused to believe this was difficult in any way.
Am I missing something or is he missing something
Here is the rough plan I sent him, he said it would take 2 days to program.

Ok, here is a run down so you can understand what all I am doing
1. Homepage- This has no programming (subpage contact us), basic programming to validate and email the form to your email address.
2. User registration(domain authorization) system. This is going to be pretty straightforward, in order to have easy error handling througout the process, I am registering sessions throughout that whole process, so the orders go smoothly, then I can easily have my program memorize the idea behind the template that was chosen, and how to work with that template when the time comes.
3. I have 1 sign up page, they choose there username, verify username, password, verifypassword, emailaddress, verify email address, requested sub-domain
4. I run validation and make sure everything is in order, check that the username/emailaddress doesn’t already exist, and check that the sub-domain hasn’t already been created.
5. I pass all of that on to whatever is the next page, here they choose a template idea, and it changes over the template, and automatically generates (using php), a logo for them, in a default fonttype, for the price you have offered me, I can only let them choose between 1-2 fonts for the logo, because that is the difficult part. 
6. They are also allowed to choose the text they want, as well as any headers.  on the next page, this is all put within the template, for them to view, then if they choose, there they can click make more changes or confirm, at that point everything is passed to paypal
7. (I NEED pricing information from you)
8. Here they pay, paypal clears it, I create the sub-domain and user account when paypal comes back with the information.  At this point everything works out, and it’s all done with, they have there registered account.  Then it will email them a link to the admin area, and there username and password for rememberance, then they can login, there they can edit a text only edit view, or an xhtml edit view, if I can make that happen, if it’s easy I will also allow them to do some minor editing to the css file at that point, like change font styles or something similar.  I will also automatically generate the proper keywords  for it to be search engine ready when I submit your site then, all sub-domains will start getting indexed as well, giving them an extra reason to do so.

Like isawesome or something.com do you want them to be able to have there own natural url associated with the one they picked, like show there’s on there sub-domain website, isreallyawesome.com ends up having that in there, if so I need to record there domain name as well.


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#2 aBiz

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:57 PM

Well I've been programming in various languages for almost 20 years, but professionally, as a consultant and peronally in my spare time (PHP being the latest addition to my skillset), and if anyone can code all that in 2 days then I'm clearly in the wrong profession!

Perhaps the guy has had other work done that was heavily based on templates, or previously written scripts, and maybe he has no concept of design, coding and methodical testing.

If he wants a poor site riddled with errors then sure, tell him you can give him that in 2 days - otherwise if he's not willing to give you more time, I'd suggest he goes elsewhere...

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#3 obsidian

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:03 PM

yea, two days is definitely a bit short on that. if i was working full-time for his project alone, i might be able to get it done and tested in under a week, but even that may be a push. plus, they need to be aware that a typical freelancer is going to attempt to have multiple projects going at the same time, so you can only dedicate a limited amount of time to their project.
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#4 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:05 PM

Thanks, I am sending him these comments, I wanted some backing from some other programmers, especially ones I trust, thanks.

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#5 AndyB

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:19 PM

;D reminds me of a line from a software seminar many years ago .... a man-year of coding does not mean 730 programmers working until lunchtime.
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#6 Barand

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:26 PM

Are we talking 2 days elapsed, or 48 chargeable hours (at least a working week) ?

(I think this belongs in Misc forum)
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#7 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 03:26 AM

I meant 72 hours.

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#8 neylitalo

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 03:43 AM

hm... 72 hours is three days' worth, are you sure that wasn't a typo?

And that still leaves the question of whether or not they are consecutive hours or billing hours. It makes a huge difference - 48 working hours is considerably different than 48 consecutive hours. :)

(Unless, of course, you can work for 48 hours straight...)
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#9 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:38 AM

then more like 20 hours total.  10 hours per day, 2 days.

So yes that was a typo, it would actually be 20 hours total working.  Maybe 3 days, I told him give me until wednesday, and I would see what I can do, that is 30 hours, minus 5 hours per day for other projects, that's 15 hours total.  I doubt it but it's worth a shot, he atleast wants most of it operational by then.

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#10 neylitalo

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:00 AM

then more like 20 hours total.  10 hours per day, 2 days.

So yes that was a typo, it would actually be 20 hours total working.  Maybe 3 days, I told him give me until wednesday, and I would see what I can do, that is 30 hours, minus 5 hours per day for other projects, that's 15 hours total.  I doubt it but it's worth a shot, he atleast wants most of it operational by then.


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Go for it.

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#11 AndyB

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:04 AM

I love these threads that ramble along based on an initial indefinite proposition.

I had someone who wanted me to build a site, I had an argument with him, he thought it could be programmed in 2 days.


First mistake - I had an argument with him.

Why argue with a client?  If he 'thought' it could be done in 2 days, so what? If your professional opinion is that it will take 200 hours of work who cares what the client thinks?  Just explain that you would be able to complete his project before such and such a date and at a cost of $x.  If he wants you to do the work, do it (after receiving agreement on the scope of work and price). If he doesn't, them move along.  You know what your time and talent is worth.

Second mistake - based on your most recent post you have now embarked on a project where you might be able to get some of it done in more time than the client wanted, or some of it working is a half-assed fashion on his timetable.

My standard answer to the client request "I want it right now" is "Which do you want? Right or now?"


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#12 obsidian

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:06 PM

Why argue with a client?  If he 'thought' it could be done in 2 days, so what? If your professional opinion is that it will take 200 hours of work who cares what the client thinks?

My standard answer to the client request "I want it right now" is "Which do you want? Right or now?"


very well put, andy. we have a saying in my office that comes up quite a bit in dealing with departments who have that mindset. we have sort of taken this on as our motto: "I'd rather apologize for the time than the quality."
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#13 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:09 PM

I will keep that in mind.  When I thought about it, he said he just wants it functional, that's why I told him give me until wednesday.  He is also upset, it has in actuallity been 2 or almost 3 weeks now, but he never sent the specs at first, he delayed in getting back to me about the layout because he was at work, and other tthings, so this week he all of a sudden decides he wants to work like lightning on it.

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#14 AndyB

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:34 PM

... so this week he all of a sudden decides he wants to work like lightning on it.


We have a saying about that where I work:

"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".
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#15 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:40 PM

"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".
are you meaning something you would say to a client, or what does that mean?

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#16 obsidian

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:46 PM

"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".
are you meaning something you would say to a client, or what does that mean?


depending on the client, i might say it to him. if he's being extremely pushy and trying to get you to jump when it's his lack of preparation that has caused the delay. it simply means that just because he has delayed and is now in a time crunch, you aren't.
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#17 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:51 PM

Thanks for the advice ,I will keep that in mind.

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#18 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:14 PM

Ok let me ask this, honest opinions if you can.

I posted in phpfreaks, about a problem, and because of the depth no-one responded, I already know it's bigger than I thought, should I contact him now, and tell him I am dropping that specific project.

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#19 obsidian

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:24 PM

Ok let me ask this, honest opinions if you can.

I posted in phpfreaks, about a problem, and because of the depth no-one responded, I already know it's bigger than I thought, should I contact him now, and tell him I am dropping that specific project.


i wouldn't tell him you're dropping it, but i'd tell him what your reasonable timeframe is and let him be the one to decide if he can wait on it or not.
You can't win, you can't lose, you can't break even... you can't even get out of the game.

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#20 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:31 PM

Ok, I will do that, thanks for the advice.

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