[thelist] Funding Training was: CMS: opensource or hand-roll?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri Sep 12 15:48:01 CDT 2008

On 12 Sep 2008, at 15:18, Bob Meetin wrote:

> My perspective is that you provide the solution that fits the client's
> needs.

Indeed. However, for all but the tiniest minority, content-based sites  
will find that there are a number of Off the Shelf (commercial or OSS)  
solutions that will either meet their needs as-is, or with the  
addition of modules.

> Does the client care whether you roll your own or find it on the
> shelf so long as it's supportable if you exit the picture?  He/she  
> just
> has a problem to solve. There can be quite some time involved in
> learning the intricacies of Joomla, Drupal, Magento (eCommerce),  
> etc. in
> addition to getting acquainted with the modules, themes, etc.

Yep. Actually, this is true for any complex framework. But with any  
solution with a larger usergroup than your client(s) alone, there will  
be a greater likelihood of there being a third party sector willing  
and able to do so.

> If you're
> delving into substantial, inordinate research I do believe it is  
> fair to
> charge the client for that time.

And as a client, I'd say "Get lost," unless I'm specifying the  
toolset, it's pretty rare (or there are deep customisations peculiar  
to me), and I'm requiring you to learn it.

If it's a standard - even if complex - one, then you can amortise your  
investment of learning time across multiple clients. Otherwise, I'm  
funding you to better serve other clients. My competition, possibly.

> If you already have that knowledge then
> perhaps it sets you apart and you can charge more.  This is part of  
> your
> skillset, toolset, technical savvy.

Or, equally/more likely: charge the same, but lose fewer jobs to the  
competition. Seriously - if you can't make the investment to learn it,  
you don't want my business enough.

(currently investing in an expanding team of Java developers to learn  
a framework application that his current client uses, without even a  
guarantee that the client's needs will ramp up to need the extra people)

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