I generally do not give free estimates since meaningful cost estimation
requires careful analysis of a problem and usually takes at least 30 to 60
minutes for small projects that might take a couple of days of coding.
Even the most careful time estimate is likely to be significantly off. I
can give a rough estimate at my normal hourly rate, but estimates are
always NON-BINDING guesses.
The ACTUAL time required to complete a task may turn out to be 100% higher
than estimated, or more, or less than estimated. On average, according to
industry studies 100% cost overrun is common in the software industry as a
whole. The smaller the job, the more precise cost estimates tend to be.
Many studies, such as the The 1994 "CHAOS Report", have attempted to
grapple with the complexities involved in software cost estimation.
Try this search for more info:
Your charges accumulate on an HOURLY basis, as documented in my invoice and
are immediately paid from your account balance, until the credit is
exhausted, at which point, I stop work until more credit is posted to your
Most clients initially limit exposure to risk by paying a small amount of
$100 or more, which gives you an opportunity to evaluate my work and
discuss any issues before continuing. As time goes on, we get to know each
other better and good working relationships are established.
My work is very thorough and reliable, as client references will attest.
However, the nature of the software development process is such that no
warrantees are offered or implied. All work is provided on an AS-IS basis.
This type of language is standard to ALL software license agreements I have
ever seen. The reason for this is that the nature of the software
development process involves the complex interaction of code that may
cause problems ('bugs') to be discovered under unforseen test conditions,
possibly unrelated to the work that I may do for you.
Although I am competent and willing to fix most problems that may be
discovered, it should be understood that all software development involves
risks and that the only way to ensure the quality of software is to TEST IT
I always test my code - under the most likely use conditions - before
continuing. However, the number of possible test conditions (e.g., all
possible combinations of input parameters to a script) is often far
greater than anyone cares to worry about.
Generally speaking, it is impossible to prove a negative conclusion - i.e.,
that no software bugs exist. Testing can be a time-consuming and costly
process. It is, therefore, up to you, the Client, to decide how thorough
you want to be about software quality assurance. It is most cost-effective
for you, the Client, to assume responsibility for testing the software to
make sure it meets your specifications.
The more precise you can be in describing problems to be fixed, or features
to be implemented, the more effective you will be in reducing costs of
I am happy to discuss things over the phone and will initiate all phone
calls for free, but charge at the hourly rate for all time spent
communicating, analyzing, designing, coding, testing, debugging.
I provide very detailed invoices / status reports (as often as you like) of
what I do so that, if you choose, you may take over management as you learn
from me exactly how to manage your site.
Sample invoice is available on request, to illustrate the pace of work and
the amount of documentation and details that would be provided to you on
an ongoing basis. References and code samples are also available on
My coding style is very clear, with lots of comments to enable another
programmer to easily understand what I have done and take over any work I
have done. I do not work in a manner that 'locks you in', depending on me
for support. Documenting what I do, and how I do it, is a standard part of
what is included in my invoices to you.
- Greg Keraunen
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