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    Old Programmer disappeared. About to hire another Programmer. How Do I Approach this?


    After spending over 1 year working on a social network project for me using wordpress and buddypress, my programmer has disappeared, even though he got paid every single week, for the whole period. Yes, he's not dead as I used an email tracker to confirm and see he opens my emails but doesn't respond. Seems he got another job. I wonder why he just couldn't say so. And I even paid him advance salary for work he hasn't done.

    Anyway, problem is that I never asked for full documentation for most of the functions he coded in. And there were MANY functions for this 1+ year period, and some of them have bugs that he still didn't fix. Now it seems all confusing.

    My question - what's the first thing I should do now? How do I proceed?

    I guess the first thing to do will be to get another programmer but I want to start on the right foot by having all the current codes documented so that any programmer can work on all the functions without issues.

    Is that the first thing I should do? If yes, how do I go about it?

    What's the standard type of documentation required for something like this? Can I get a programmer that will just do the documentation for all the codes and fix the bugs or documentation isn't really important?

    Also, do you think getting another "individual" programmer is better or get a company that has programmers working for them, so that if the programmer assigned to my project disappears, another can replace him, without my involvement? I feel this is the approach I should have taken in the beginning. What do you think?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
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    1. where do you live? and where does he live? it looks like not local to you otehrwise you could go to him.

    2. if you hired him, was there a contract? can you go down this road for breach of contract and the fact you paid him in advance? also you having proof that you sent him email and that he hasnt replied could work in your favour if it is taken to court. might be hard if you live in a country with no laws and/or you are both in different countries

    Now in the mean time, yes you need to look for another programmer, make sure you dont pay him an advanced salary. Agree on a timescale for example

    1. within the next month i want you to develop 10 features. if he doesnt then dont pay him the full amount.

    Hiring a company will be expensive. even if you do, they all wont know the code if only one of their programmers work on it. Just make sure you have a valid contract with your programmer so that no one can do this again.
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    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    1. where do you live? and where does he live? it looks like not local to you otehrwise you could go to him.
    Sadly yes, we don't live in same countries. So, I can't go to him.

    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    2. if you hired him, was there a contract? can you go down this road for breach of contract and the fact you paid him in advance? also you having proof that you sent him email and that he hasnt replied could work in your favour if it is taken to court. might be hard if you live in a country with no laws and/or you are both in different countries
    .
    Yes, there is a contract, but at this point the fact that we live in different countries would mean me spending money trying to fight this. I think I would be better off spending the money to fix the problem on hand.

    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    Now in the mean time, yes you need to look for another programmer, make sure you dont pay him an advanced salary. Agree on a timescale for example

    1. within the next month i want you to develop 10 features. if he doesnt then dont pay him the full amount.
    This is a very good advice. Thanks a lot!

    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    Hiring a company will be expensive. even if you do, they all wont know the code if only one of their programmers work on it. Just make sure you have a valid contract with your programmer so that no one can do this again.
    Hmmm, again, another wonderful advice. Thanks a lot!

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