Publication Date: 6/11/2010 7:38:16 AM
When your software breaks, how quickly do you expect the programmer to respond to your request for assistance?
Okay, that’s probably too broad. We both know that it depends on how broken it is.
The software I build for my customers is an integral part of their business. It might be their money scoop. Or it might run their day-to-day operation. Regardless, if it isn’t working at all, it affects their bottom line pretty quickly.
On the other hand, if it is minor bug that only affects a limited number of transactions, it probably isn’t an emergency.
Assuming it is VERY BROKEN, how quickly do you expect the programmer to respond?
Here’s another question: do they know that? Is it codified in your agreement? Or is this just an assumption you are making?
If your website or application is critical to your business, make sure you discuss your emergency response needs with your programmer. Find out BEFORE there is an emergency whether or not they are prepared to handle it. Not all freelancers are set up to handle emergencies – some only deal with one project at a time, and are not available to assist with issues unless there is a project in place. Unplanned emergencies are rarely “projects”.
Also understand that many programmers will charge something to be available for emergencies. It isn’t unreasonable for you to pay for the programmer to drop someone else’s work if you have an emergency.
And be specific. I don’t guarantee an immediate response – I provide a response to emergencies within 1 business day (or in some cases within 12 hours). Is that good enough? Or is it too much – perhaps you just need a response within 2 business days. How much money will it cost you if your app is completely down for 2 days?
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Avonelle is a rare IT professional who can communicate with business users on a level they can understand, and who can recommend creative technical solutions that are in line with the business goals and the business budget. Avonelle is conscientious not only about meeting deadlines, but also exceeding her customers expectations around quality software while providing superior customer service. Avonelle is an inspiration to me.
Valerie Vogt, Director of IT Advisory Services @ Inetium
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