[thelist] What's a Programmer To Do?

Hassan Schroeder hassan.schroeder at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 17:29:56 CDT 2009

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM, Martin Burns <martin at easyweb.co.uk> wrote:

>> What? No convincing needed -- a client comes to me with a use case:
>> "I want to be able to update my site myself".
>> The details of that requirement, as well as the best solution, are up
>> to me to propose.
> Yes, true. But are you telling me that you're not going to give me the
> option? Are you relying on my inexperience to not call you out on it?
> "Dear client: I'm billing you more because I want to have fun, but you
> don't realise it, and I'm not telling"

Uh, "billing you more"? What? Where does that come from?

I propose the, in my judgement and experience, most appropriate,
cost-effective solution. You, the client, are welcome to solicit other
bids and choose among them. Where's the problem?

> Clients really, really, really hate lock-in.

Then they're remarkably reticent to mention it -- I've never had this
come up as an issue for any non-enterprise-level project. Never, in
going-on-thirteen years as an independent web developer.

> And even without systematic testing, bet you a tenner that any real
> issue with the codebase will have been hit by other people in
> production use. Any major security holes will have been suffered
> already by *other* people.

And these kitchen-sink apps without unit tests are totally immune to
misconfigurations that result in broken functionality or compromised
security? OK, I'll have to take you word for that.

Personally, I find the more tests I have, the better I feel about making
even the most seemingly trivial change to an app.

As always, YMMV :-)
Hassan Schroeder ------------------------ hassan.schroeder at gmail.com

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