This week, we are discussing the application release process and the culture that drives it.
As a client, I expect delivery dates to be met.
As an Engineer, I expect products to be fully operational out-of-the-box once released, even in Beta! If you send me a packaged piece of software to install on my server, I expect it to just work.
Is that asking too much?
There is nothing more heart breaking for an Engineer than to have to tell a customer/Business partner why their product is yet another week or month delayed in delivery, because in preliminary testing one finds said product simply doesn’t work correctly.
Is it just a matter of day-to-day business in the competitive media space? We know vendors are in a constant state of flux to meet new requirements and keep their products fresh, but at what cost?
Executing comprehensive QA (Quality Assurance Testing) is usually sacrificed to keep customers happy, “in theory”… while in practice the cost of the exposure when a new bug is discovered is usually more expensive – at the cost of trust in the vendor and the product.
What do you do when you want to keep a project on time, but during product testing there are flaws and vulnerabilites, do you keep pushing forward? There are exhaustive combinations of client side variables that will effect a web based products performance, how far do we need to go to QA a product before it is released?
Truth be told there are 100’s of “bugs” in every product, so much so that we call them “features” and just devise a ‘work-around’ to prevent the show from stopping.
Microsoft is a prime example, even the simple things have unexpected “features”. Have you ever had issues trying to download a Trial product from Microsoft’s website? For fun, go try and download the “Trial” version of MS Project and you may find so many issues with just trying to get to the trial download, that you just go buy it.
Perhaps that is by design? [* hmmm * finger to chin… tap, tap*]
I am asking YOU, what do you think? Do we keep living with the big BUTT with issues or find a better way? IMHO it is cultural and can be changed if an industry decides to change dates and put more emphasis on QA, but that’s just me… and I am just one packet in the stream of media life.
We all have had those clients we have to chase down to get paid by, sometimes it’s the clients we know have the money (but are bogged down by red tape) we have to work the hardest to get paid by, what are your thoughts on the matter?
Did you know:
About 40% of freelancers had trouble getting paid in 2009, according to a survey released in mid-April by the New York-based Freelancers Union, a 135,000-member organization for independent contractors across the country in fields such as media, technology, and advertising. It was the first year the group asked the question on its member survey. And more than three out of four freelancers said they’ve had trouble getting paid over the course of their careers, according to organization.
The problem could become more acute as independent contractors emerge as a more central piece of the work force. The financial crisis and the resulting high unemployment thrust many professionals into the ranks of freelance workers, which may continue to grow despite signs of an economic recovery.
Read the full article here
Resources: Freelancers guide to getting paid, excerpts:
- Get over the embarrassment.
- Deal directly with payroll.
- Withhold work, if you can.
- Offer the company some flexibility.
- Consider adding late fees to your contract, or a prepayment clause.
- Consider working with freelance-liaison firms.
- Sue the company in small claims court.
Available from WSJ, read the full post here