Managing Hourly Contract Agreements and the Software Ecosystem

Managing Hourly Contract Agreements and the Software Ecosystem

In the tech world, we hear all the time the idea that software is never truly ‘done.’ When startups and other companies outsource their development, a concern about hourly programmers tends to creep up. Do these contractors have enough incentive to work harder to get the job ‘done’? Or, will they work slow, so as to not run out of work?

Being upfront with expectations and timeframes is key for keeping customer-client relations transparent and collaborative.

So, How Much Time Will It Take?

The Truth: it is going to take as long as it takes. If you are a startup or company that has negotiated an hourly pay arrangement with your contractors, more than likely, there will be pedantic micro-negotiations over the numbers of hours each task will take. A reasonable contractor really does just want to get the job done, and in such a way that the customer is satisfied. Not only does this enable the contractor get paid, but it also gets the work off of their plate.

Is Software ever “Finished”?

The Truth: It true that software is never “done.”

Think about how many times you update the applications on your phone. Many young companies, especially those lacking technical leadership, just don’t understand that software is a lot like gardening: it is ongoing and it is organic. In gardening, it might be that you are giving your plants too much or too little water. It might also be the amount of sunlight, or a myriad of other factors will explain the results in your efforts. But no matter what, it is never done. Software in this sense is its own ecosystem.

Maybe a new security hole is discovered and needs to be patched. Or, regulation changes in your industry force application updates. But the idea that a contractor would drag their feet on a project because, if not, they might run out of work, is incorrect. And it is certain too, that software is never done.

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