$8.33 per minute!
And you thought a cab ride was expensive! I did a meditation to help me find the best software company in the United States. I tuned into the cosmos for half an hour and got my answer. The company would be in Florida near Tampa. Sure enough when I queried .Net programming companies in Florida, this excellent company came up. They even had a cool name that starts with a number, just like my site! www.352inc.com. In addition, they have the coolest looking website I have ever seen a programming company have. With the type of revenue they are making, they can afford a nice site! The salesperson explained how the company worked and how they finished huge projects in just days using a business model of having four person teams. After they finished projects, they could also assign an independent programmer to touch up code that needed tweaking if you could commit to eight hours per session.
But, what if the team experienced problems?
I would be out $4000 per day during any snags in the process, or would I be? Hmmm. And what if they needed me in the middle of the project and couldn’t reach me at the critical junction? Then what? If I had some experience with this company, I would hire them in a flash. But, it was just too much. They were in the fast lane and I like to proceed at a more cautious speed. I think they would be perfect for larger companies. I think they would be perfect for me too — if only they could give me half a programmer rather than a gang of four! 20 hours a week is half a programmer and that is perfect for me providing he is the right guy.
Finding the right geek for the job!
When I hire programmers, I like to interview each one by hand. I like to see if they have the right thinking skills, communication abilities and personality for the job. Working with an unknown team of four would make it impossible to verify if things would go well. Too scary for me, but perfect for large companies who know this company well.
Wouldn’t it be possible to work on a smaller scale?
I like the idea of structured teams, but what about those of us who need a smaller team? Instead of gang of four, what about two man crew, perhaps with an additional project manager who is on call? A part time team of two partners, or two people for an undefined quantity of days would be perfect for banging out coding projects of the size that I often am involved with. But, $25,000 per week? Even if it is a huge project, to afford that kind of an outlay, it better be a huge project!
Teamwork eliminates cooperation problems
Programmers who work as a team are more aware of how critical cooperation and meeting deadlines are. Programmers who work alone, fail to realize that as long as they have a client, they are not completely alone — if they want to get paid that is. Sole programmers typically have no sense of timelines and no consideration for the communication requirements of their client which often ruins entire projects. I met a manager from a hotel in Singapore whose entire site reprogramming got put by the side of the road for years and eventually was completely forgotten about. So, hiring a company that has programmers work as a team is a refreshing solution to problems regarding cooperation during programming work.
A project manager for name’s sake only doesn’t cut it
Many smaller software companies hire untrained people to act as project managers. They are very convincing as a rule and assure you that everything will get done. Not only do they typically not understand the coding process, but they also don’t understand managing humans or the timelines of programming projects. Having a more affluent company with an experienced professional project manager eliminates most of the problems that I have experienced hiring programmers. A serious project manager will have the ability to do realistic scheduling, time management, and meet deadlines without issue, while you can count on almost everyone else to flake on their commitments. This $25,000 per week company by definition must have PM’s that are top notch, otherwise they will lose a thousand dollars for every two hours they lose!
How do you test this company?
I have a policy that I never use anyone for any serious project without testing them. The problem is that this company won’t do anything for less than open week of work with four people. I need to know if these programmers are able to work with me and understand my requirements and directions. The other programmers I worked with got to know me over years. How is this new company supposed to get to know me over nanoseconds? The whole concept is too fast for me to ponder, but it makes for an interesting blog article.
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