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    Question Possible first paying customer - need assistance


    Well, it looks as if I might have my first design/development project coming up. Only one thing has me stumped....not necessarily what to charge (I found what I needed to know on another thread here -- thanks!), but roughly how many hours it will take to complete the job. This will help me to quote a flat-rate for the project, instead of scaring the customer with an open-ended hourly rate.

    The customer is looking to build a site similar to http://www.cpoa.com, which is a marketing service for high school athletes. An athlete can add his name to their database, for perusal by college scouts. My customer also wants to add video capabilites for each player, and the player will pay for this premium service.

    Based on the limited information I have, I was thinking of building the site in php with a mysql backend. I don't think the customer has any data to import into the new database, so that will save some time.

    I will handle all of the work, including graphics, database and php development. I will also work with the customer on getting a domian name registered, as well as a web hosting provider.

    My question to you fine folks is...how many billable hours would you estimate a job like this to take? I was toying with quoting an hourly rate for the work, and billing an appropriate number of hours upon project completion. But, as I said before, I don't want to scare the guy away by not quoting the number of hours. This being my first major project, I really don't have a clue how long this would take. If anyone can give me a rough estimate, that would be great.

    Thanks
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    I suggest you breakdown the job into smaller packages, allowing you to estimate the worktime for each, for example:
    Database design, Layout, graphics, payment gateway, queries-php and your client might want a CMS.
    It's hard for somebody to figure out the time it takes because I don't know how good/fast you are. Will you get a logo or do you have to design one from scratch? How many extras (Flash, Rollovers etc) does he want?
    If I had that project it would propably take me 20-30hrs.


    Mantas
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    Based on the limited information I have
    This sort of frightens me to be honest. Niether side should be providing "limited information" here. I would say if you think the client is unclear about what he/she is asking the FIRST thing you should make sure of is that you lay out a VERY detailed plan of EXACTLY what is to be done so they can't (legally) bitch later when they don't get what they wanted.

    At any rate, this is tough to call really (like Mantas already covered). I would personally use perl for the job (only because that's my particular favorite / strongest language), and I would say it would take ME using THAT language about 10-15 hours to wrap up all the programming work. The graphic design would kill me, but I'd say if my skills in that sector were a little higher it would be another 10 hours or so.

    And, whatever you do, DO NOT quote ANYTHING that could be construed as a flat rate!! Say:

    Given this set of x criteria and assuming you have provided this y information I estimate it will take me approximately so and so hours to complete your project at such and such a rate. Leave it open-ended in case the client comes back later and tries to change the criteria or you find out they DIDN'T provide all the info and they try to keep the price the same (then you can say "Well, sorry man, this estimate was good because we assumed this set of criteria and assumed you had given us all of the information. You didn't give us all of the information so now the estimate is changing").

    If you haven't already read Devshed's article on the software development biz, you might at least want to give it the quick once over:

    http://www.devshed.com/Talk/Practices/SoftwareDev

    I don't think it's too bad.
    Last edited by Ctb; November 13th, 2002 at 12:35 AM.
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    Thumbs up Php perl Sql Mysql programming at just US$15 per hour


    Php perl Sql Mysql programming at just US$15 per hour

    chris
    http://www.chrisranjana.com

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