9 Replies - 1017 Views - Last Post: 24 June 2010 - 09:33 AM

#1 Guest_Guest*


Reputation:

coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:09 AM

i am wondering if anyone has experience with this. i may be moving temporarily but i have a contact in this area who may want a web site designed and maybe a small program created. is it easy working at a distance and being unable to commute to discuss ideas and concepts? how difficult would it be to log hours worked or decide on amount for payment?
Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0

Replies To: coding for distant clients

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 8849
  • View blog
  • Posts: 33,159
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:17 AM

View PostGuest, on 24 June 2010 - 08:09 AM, said:

i am wondering if anyone has experience with this. i may be moving temporarily but i have a contact in this area who may want a web site designed and maybe a small program created. is it easy working at a distance and being unable to commute to discuss ideas and concepts? how difficult would it be to log hours worked or decide on amount for payment?


Have clear and open communication... be available at all times. That means some sort of conference calling.. skype.. voip stuff.. an instant messenger active while you work... webcam for video chats.. etc... all of those can help break down the lack of physical contact.

Log hours? Ah.. just log them.. try and keep a schedule with all of the hours grouped together.. that helps so the client knows when they can roughly get a hold of you..

Amount for payment? That's only decided by you based on your talent, the project, and how much your time is worth.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 eclipsed4utoo  Icon User is offline

  • Not Your Ordinary Programmer
  • member icon

Reputation: 1524
  • View blog
  • Posts: 5,957
  • Joined: 21-March 08

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:24 AM

as long as you both have a phone, email, and possibly even an IM account, it's not that hard.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 Guest_Guest*


Reputation:

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:24 AM

i have experience with long distance stuff due to my given situation in regards to relationships but for a business it is different. i can call the client however and email him which should be enough.
Was This Post Helpful? 0

#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10342
  • View blog
  • Posts: 38,276
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:27 AM

For my nonprofit website project, one of my clients was in Arkansas and I'm on the East Coast. Communication wasn't an issue, as we emailed a ton (I got ~20 emails/day from her, and it took me ~1 hour/day to process the emails). For client meetings, my clients had a three way call going between the two of them and my team and I at the school.

The website shouldn't be that hard, but for the program testing, you'll want to compile it to an exe file or something so they can run and test certain components. Try to avoid having any dependencies outside the exe File that they'll need to set up.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

  • Saucy!
  • member icon

Reputation: 6021
  • View blog
  • Posts: 23,395
  • Joined: 23-August 08

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:27 AM

Moved to Corner Cubicle
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

  • Google.Sucks.Init(true);
  • member icon

Reputation: 1637
  • View blog
  • Posts: 19,853
  • Joined: 26-July 07

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:33 AM

I work for a lot of clients, in all parts of the world. It's difficult at times, but the main thing is to make sure both parties understand the differences in time zones and that you are available to your client as often as possible. Skype, IM are good ways of communicating with long distance clients (as is email but that one should be a given).

I've got clients in Canada, UK and others. Nice thing about Windows 7 is I have the ability to have multiple clocks down in my taskbar so I have clocks set up for my various clients in various parts of the world so I always know what time it is in their area, which helps me maintain a schedule where I'm available to them during normal (well as close to normal as possible) hours for them. While this is not always an option, it does go a long way towards instilling confidence with your client if, a couple days a week, you're willing to alter your schedule to be available to them during their normal hours.

As far as pay, that's a hard one as it's really down to what you and your client feel comfortable with. My clients pay me with PayPal, just a lot more convenient for all parties involved.

Hope that may help some at least :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5417
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,609
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:58 AM

I find that ToDoList is a totally invaluable tool.
Not only does it track your projects by it keeps timers for how much time you spend on each item.
Every project I build, I first break down in ToDoList. then as I build it I can run a timer for that part.

http://www.codeproje.../todolist2.aspx
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#9 Frinavale  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 203
  • View blog
  • Posts: 776
  • Joined: 03-June 10

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:09 AM

Thanks for the link tlhIn'toq!

I never knew that I needed something just like that until you posted it.
I'm currently keeping a to-do list in a text file and a log in an excel file. I was considering creating my own logging system, similar to the link you posted, so that I could do a better job at tracking my hours and progress. I still might create such an application because it would be nice to have it print an invoice of my design too :)

I honestly think that the process of creating goals for yourself is essential to developing something for a client. Not only can you show the progress that you have made to the client, but it gives you that extra incentive to move through the project...when you finish something you don't have to spend time on wondering "what's next" because you know exactly what you need to do next.


I haven't had clients that are long distance yet. Currently my client is about a 1/2 hour drive away...but since I'm doing web development for them I rarely have to go out to see them. We have conferences on Skype and use remote desktop tools if necessary (like Mikogo). With this client I set up a "test" server that they can connect to so that they can see the progress/changes that I've made and it gives them a chance to try out the system to get used to it.

Actually when I was tutoring a classmate last semester both Skype and Mikogo were essential to making this possible. The classmate lived 2 hours a way from me. Skype made it possible for us to communicate without racking up a long distance bill, and Mikogo made it possible for me see the classmate's code as he was working on it and it let me take control if I needed to.

-Frinny

This post has been edited by Frinavale: 24 June 2010 - 09:52 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5417
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,609
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: coding for distant clients

Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:33 AM

You'll find that you can attach other documents to each item, so if you wanted to make an invoice in Quickbooks and save it as a PDF you could then attach it to a TDL project item. TDL is really powerful and I haven't tried version 6 yet. For all I know there might be a report you could use for billing purposes.

I have found that by tracking how long it takes me to build component x, or program y... I can much better estimate the *next* project. Working from home requires a certain amount of self-management. I try to hold myself accountable. And thus I look at my own time estimate from an external perspective and learn to more accurately (and less optimistically) account for my time. 10 minutes here, 20 there... it all adds up and if you don't make a point of tracking it then you don't really know how long it takes to build something.

At this point if I tell my boss '3 days' then I'm usually spot-on and not having to stay up all night cramming 2 days of work into 1 physical day just to make the deadline that I set.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1