[thelist] Financial Situation

UIT DEV UITDEV at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 21:53:14 CST 2008


You said "Pretty much all trades in construction are slashing their rates
right now, to get work in the door." and I do agree, however, these same
people are also going to get you on the way out the door.  They're not
slashing much, if at all.  :-)   The turth is, the economics of the issue is
that we can not slash our prices and continue to put food on our plates -
the cost of food hasnt come down (along with the gas prices, WHICH, was the
reason given to us that food skyrocketed).  Hmm..    I've had several home
repair people in my house in the past month for various issues and none have
changed their rates.  When I asked them if they will, they say not at
all.    I've also had the need to consult with an attorney and her rates
have not budged at all.  Nor shall they.

I think the main issue is that there are plenty of folks who will do the
work for next to nothing and undercut each other in our profession but I
noticed that in those other professions, they stick together.

Also,   " the quality of what we're producing is actually pretty damned good
- in some of our projects significantly outstripping teams that are local -
I think you're operating on hearsay rather than experience."

I beg to differ.  I've personally had to correct tons of code that has been
developed by "teams in India" for a huge financial institution in the States
and I to be perfectly blunt with you, no one wants to talk about this.  No
one wants to mention it for fear of their jobs because right now,
outsourcing is politically correct.  Is actually considered disrespectful to
speak against the code quality and to simply keep it hush hush while hiring
locals to correct the many issues with it.

Also, no one wants to admit that this outsourcing is one of the nasty horns
on this beast of a recession we've got brewing.  Its not just the housing
bubble, the mere fact that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been given
away (in many fields, not just coding) and no one wants to discuss it.   The
politicians wonder where the tax base went.  The economists wonder where the
jobs went.  No one wants to admit that we've destroyed our economy by giving
jobs away and placing highly skilled people onto the unemployment lines.

I am one of them.  Not only is my salary ZERO now, my tax revenue
contribution to my State and to my country is ZERO.   My spending power is
ZERO.  My contribution to the local and regional economies - where I used to
be part of that stimulation of those economies, is ZERO.   And you can
mulitply me by thousands.   This has a tremendous impact on our nation but
no one wants to discuss it.

So I am on my own and I am not going to charge $11/hr to develop software
when I used to get paid $44/hr, plus benefits and such.   Home Depot and
Walmart - they wont hire me.  They know I will jump ship at the first better
offer and they are 100% correct.  So I dont blame them.  I will seek work
and charge my worth to clients and if they dont like it - to bad for all of
us all around.  I'd rather find another career with a hell of a lot less
stress and responsibility, and pay, than to be forced to earn the wage of
someone in a developing country but have to live in a DEVELOPED country.

Its insantity.


On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 19:58, Martin Burns <martin at easyweb.co.uk> wrote:

> On 11 Dec 2008, at 19:34, UIT DEV wrote:
> > Absolutely not.  My worth to a client is the same no matter what the
> > "economic situation".
> >  Anyone who lowers rates is perpetuating a problem within the
> > software developer profession where we already give too much advice
> > and work
> > away for nothing as it is!
> Well yes and no.
> I do think that the vast majority of freelancers dramatically
> undercharge (and give away far more than they should), but that's not
> the same as your worth (in economic terms) being the same.
> Your worth to a client I'm afraid is bounded at the top end by what
> incremental profit (ie more revenue/less cost) your work will produce
> for them. And right now, the margin between those is being squeezed
> all round. So unless you can produce something that will
> *dramatically* take out costs, your worth is going down. And *every*
> business client knows that they have to cut their costs wherever they
> can; spending less on your services will be no different from anyone
> else. Pretty much every astute client will be trying to negotiate you
> downwards (and I've seen that even at the very top end of the business).
> The end result is that you do still increase or hold your rates, but
> in other circumstances, they could have gone up (more).
> > Those who do, who will, or who agree - you have to ask yourself this
> > question:  Would you INCREASE your rates in times of prosperity?
> > If so,
> > isnt that gouging?    I havent seen electricians, plumbers, home
> > renovation/repair workers, lawyers or doctors lower their rates yet.
> You've not been paying attention then. Pretty much all trades in
> construction are slashing their rates right now, to get work in the
> door. Why? Because - like you, like all service businesses - nearly
> all their costs are fixed costs; it costs the same to be open whether
> or not they're busy. It's usually more viable to keep business coming
> in, even if it's at lower rates, rather than have the team sit idle.
> > I take my cue from those professionals.  I will never lower my
> > rates.  If my
> > client wants lower rates then they can go elsewhere - outsource to
> > India if
> > they want.  And they run the risk of others who have done so -- the
> > quality
> > of the work suffers tremendously.
> Depends on how you do it, and at least 75% depends on the client's
> approach to it. Given that I'm currently running a 40 person team in
> India, and the quality of what we're producing is actually pretty
> damned good - in some of our projects significantly outstripping teams
> that are local - I think you're operating on hearsay rather than
> experience.
> > If I have to match those outsourced
> > rates then I may as well work at Target or Home Depot  and *not*
> > have the
> > level of responsibility that a software developer has.
> If what you're doing is simple coding to well documented requirements,
> sure. But the value of a local team is in analysis and design. And
> when you need the level of interactivity when you're literally sitting
> next to your client while coding (if you're in an office on the other
> side of town, you might as well be 6000 miles away).
> Cheers
> Martin
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