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Well its not about games, sorry! But this is the only place I know about the business side of programming. What I''m wondering is how much I should charge someone who wants me to develop something? Obviously hourly could get ridiculous! This guy wants me to make a custom IE bar... I haven''t done too much research (this is my first stop on the net about this issue), so I dont know how complicated it will be to make one, but I dont want to short change myself, and I dont want to make him laugh and go elsewhere cuz I could really use an extra source of income!

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How to be a Consultant in 3 Easy Steps:

1. Pick a number, any number...and call that your "hourly rate". Make it high-ish so that if they don''t immediately end the conversation and you find you''ve agreed to do it that you don''t mind doing it for that much. $100 per hour is too "round"...they won''t buy it. Go for $79 per hour, or $112 per hour. Make it look like you put some thought into it. If necessary, justify the number with your "years of specialized experience."

2. Pick another number, higher than the first. This one can be more "round", but not *too* round. That is your minimum number of billable hours. If you take this project, this number times the first number is how much you want to be paid *at least* for having done the job. You''re not promising to do it for that much, because who can tell how long a project will take?

3. Pick one last number. The complete randomness of this number dwarfs the other two you''ve already pulled out of...thin air. Pull out all the stops. Make this a Truly Random Number. Now multiply it by 5. Go ahead and double the result of that for good measure, and then declare that your "estimate of the number of hours it will take you to do this project." It''s not like *they* have any idea how long it should take. Who''s the expert here, anyway?

Addendum: If this is corporate client (a Big Company), multiply all the above numbers by at least 10 before presenting them. Also, you might consider telling them that you''ll need at least a staff of 5 (paid at the same rate, which you''ll keep 2/3''s of) to complete the project in the timeline you''ve given.

Good luck!


DavidRM
Samu Games

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A friend of mine, who spent a couple years as a high-paid consultant, wanted me to add this additional information...


Be VAGUE. Don't actually commit to anything, but agree with everything they tell you in non-commital terms. ie. "I understand what you're saying"; or "I can see where that could make sense"; or (my favorite) "Um-Hm" Don't actually tell them anything that they didn't tell you first...this works best if you can quote what "that other" VP told you. Make certain that you haven't actually committed to produce anything identifiable by any date prior to 6 moths after you've left. Then if it fails..ask them what happened and act surprised about some random (and seemlingly insignificant) things. You can then blame any failure on the fact that THEY didn't expalin those things to you before. Alternately you can blame it on the fact that THEY didn't understand what you have outlined for them to do (and since you left nothing in writing..."Prove me wrong...*I'M the expert here*"). You can then volunteer to help them out "at a discounted rate" (say 75% of your previous rate) but that you'll have to "squeeze it in with your other projects (ie when you feel like doing it - and remotely too) or...if they feel its a priority (to save their jobs) you can "reschedule some things" and be out there ASAP...but you'll have to charge twice your previous rate. Don't explain anything (i.e. reasons), and don't commit to actually making anything actually work...just that you'll come back out and "take a look"..the funny thing is they'll keep paying...

Repeat as necessary (until you can retire to your private Yacht with a crew of Bikini Bunnies)





DavidRM
Samu Games


Edited by - DavidRM on October 19, 2000 1:15:43 PM

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David, you''re my new hero



""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Nazrix, the yet-to-be-determined-cool half-liberitarian half-not-nihilistic-anymore-but-plain-confused messiah
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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It all depends on what type of programming you are doing. For easy Windows/MFC programming, I charge $125/hour. Easy game stuff I do for much less ($75).

Complicated app programming (custom UI, big Win apps) is much more, usually $150-$175/hour.

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hey ive read this with interest, i used to be an mcse support guy. pay was cool. A mate of mine does internet security and is earning over £100k a year doing it. not bad eh?
HOWEVER
if a company (say...EA?) can afford to pay contractors that much and make money think how much money they must be earning. You can earn a lot of money as a contractor, but to really rake in the readies i always say you need to own the product.
The bloke who invented ringpulls (for coke cans etc) apparently got a licence fee paid for x number of years for each one they manufactured. needless to say he is a happy, wealthy man. Charging a huge hourly rate is cool (believe me ive done it, it makes your day seem so much nicer ) but even cooler is to wake up, check your email and think "aha, ive earned another $500 while i am asleep". Not that this happens to me yet.
remember.....capitalism is about owning the means of production, distribution and exchange...... now who was it who said that?

http://www.positech.co.uk

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Guest Anonymous Poster
EA is said to be pulling down about 1.4 billion dollars US/year. I have no idea what their overhead is, as their books are closed.

$0.02

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I wonder how many people actually make a living doing nothing but consulting for programming... that would be a dope ass life.

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I''ve read the above posts and I must admit for me it seems a bit too good to be true. I live in Nigeria (which means there are few places I can get useful contract jobs here). I have been programming for a few years, my main interest has been in games but due to lack of opportunities here, I have done more Database design. I know MSaccess,VB,C,SQL (Not yet to comfortable with the visual C++ though) and a lot of other extinct languages (byproduct of studying programming as a subject). I am in my final year of university. I have had no experience in web programming (or any other kind of web design). However I feel one of my best assets is being able to learn quickly. I am wondering how possible and profitable finding an online job will be.
Sorry if this looks too much like a resume but I am would really appreciate some experienced advice on just how much I may be worth potentially, and direction to any sites or links or general advice that will help me turn that potential into kinetic.
Thanks a lot!

Illusion is meaningless, unless it affects reality.

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The worst thing you can do when you double post, is post again and appologize... There is a delete message button you know.

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Man if screwing people over is the name of the game then I don''t know if this is what I want to do. I thought it was just mechanics that bent people over.

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Web design is the easiest money you can ever make. If your good at it, they will come, and they will pay as well. If your work is good and they like it, you can name your price, and of course there''s the monthly update fee . I just got into it, and I have 2 or 3 gigs (if you will) already. But programming''s my thing, this is just temp.

Just make sure you give them the price after you know exactly what they want. Then I would suggest giving them a flat out price instead of hourly stuff. Make sure you don''t jip yourself though. What may sound like a lot to you may not be so much to them. They need to understand that as the number of features goes up, so does the price. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, use your judgement.
(If he''s a friend you might want to cut him a deal, or at least make him feel like he''s getting a deal)



"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams."
- Willy Wonka

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quote:
Original post by Orpheum

The worst thing you can do when you double post, is post again and appologize... There is a delete message button you know.


Thanks, sorry about that.

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