5 Things Not to Say to a Developer – Like, Ever! Unless You Need to Die.

Developers build websites. They are the weird, beautiful, crazy group of people that know your Javascript from your Python. They can often be seen scrunched up in a dark room, with a stack of empty takeaway cups piled up to the ceiling, ticking away at their keyboards mumbling something about ‘code’ at 2 am in the morning. They’re the creative geniuses that make you look good to your customers and the world at large.
Whether they are freelancers or perm staffers, there are a couple of statements to avoid making around a Developer – unless you’re willing to get a takeaway cup thrown at you that is?

Would you consider doing my site for free, you know for your portfolio?

Ja, of course, I’ll do it for free. No problem. While we’re at it would you like my first born, my car, my house? Perhaps I can set you up on a date with my wife… hey, food is overrated anyway…
Whether you are starting out in the industry or have been doing developing for years, it’s always an insult to ask someone to do quality work for you for free. Good work deserves fair pay. If budget is an issue, chat with the Developer about your budget and he or she can give you guidelines as to what they can effectively do for you within that budget.

If you just give me the code, I am sure I can run with it myself?

Kick me while I’m down why don’t you, I don’t think pineapples are meant to fit there?
Developers have a very specific set of skills, coupled with hours of experience. They’ve most likely seen it all as well, in terms of bugs, broken code, and missing links and are pretty comfortable with being able to deal with any glitches in the matrix that might threaten a project.
You’ve hired the developer for his or her skill, so don’t try and cut corners or costs, and let them do what they do best.

Can’t you just write some content for the site and then build it around that?

Do I look like your English teacher? I read Stack overflow in my spare time not poetry…
This question is insulting to Developers and Content Writers alike. Content is an important first step in the developing process and requires its own set of skills to create. Developers need the content in order to develop the style and layout of the project around it. Developers are developers, not writers, people!
Dummy text is a fine placeholder, but it’s no replacement for the real thing.

Soooooo, I’ve been thinking …. and I actually want to change everything

Same delivery time though… Sure, I’ll deliver another weeks worth of code in 2 hours because you can’t make up your mind. My kids don’t need me to come home at night anyway…
This is almost as bad as “can you just make one teeny weeny change quick? ”.. It’s the phrase that makes most Developers want to find the nearest pub not matter what time of day it is.
Reams and reams of changes mean overrun on time, costs and much much more. Successful planning at the beginning of a project should go a long way in avoiding this kind of thing happening.

I am the Project Manager, so I know everything.

Oh thank heavens! I’ve been waiting for you my whole life, may I pull the aforementioned Pineapple out before bowing to your Greatness…
This statement is one that would actually gnaw at a lot of people, not only Developers. Assuming you know more about a role than the person that’s been hired to do it, is a huge step in the wrong direction.
The Developer has skills and knowledge that is specific to his or her job, so include them in creative brainstorms and communication sessions to get their valuable input.
Use specialist niche agency e-Merge, to find the right Developer for the job, now. And if you can avoid these dumb questions, you should have a long and happy career-life together.

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