Monday, November 28, 2016

How do I find cheap freelance hardware and software developers?

The question was, "How do I find cheap freelance hardware and software developers?"

I warned the questioner to be very careful about what he was asking for:

First of all, you don’t want “cheap” developers; you want inexpensive developers.

Second, the expense of developers is not their hourly or daily rate. It’s the total cost of building and delivering the software and hardware you want.

In my experience, the least expensive developers have much higher rates than the more costly ones. The deliver what you want, the first time, in less time, with less trouble.

However, a high hourly rate doesn’t guarantee an inexpensive product. Freelance developers can charge anything they want, so price doesn’t necessarily indicate value.

Instead, speak to references about any developer you’re considering. Find out first hand what you’re going to get for what you’re paying.

And, by the way, don't think you'll save money by hiring individual developers. Your best bet will generally be to choose a team, perhaps an Agile team, but in any case, a team that has a history of working well together.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

How do I choose the right career?

The question was, "How do I choose the right career?"

My answer was, "You can’t."

Other responders told you things about how to choose your right JOB, but a job is not a career. Maybe before the 21st century, the world of work was sufficiently stable that one could choose a career, but not longer.

For instance, I’m an old guy so I’ve had sort of a career—in computing. But back in the 1940s, when I asked this question, computers didn’t even exist. At least, none of my career counselors knew of them.

And even for the 20th century, I’ve had a rather stable career. My wife, on the other hand, started out to be a concert pianist, then became a musicologist, then a piano teacher, then an anthropologist, then a management consultant, then a world-class dog trainer, and right now is an animal behavior specialist. She works primarily with canines, but until she was 33 years old, she was deathly afraid of dogs.

In other words, don’t try to choose the right career, but prepare yourself for choosing many careers throughout your working life. Learn the fundamental skills that will serve you well in all your future careers, whatever you choose, whenever you choose them—people skills, problem solving, and systems thinking are what come to my mind as things you'd need in all careers. 

That's why I've studied these things, teach them in workshops, and write books about them.