In the previous article, we learned how to go out and hire a geek. Now we’re going to learn how to work with them.
Following are a few tips which can help you “speak geek” and make sure you get your project done to your expectations. Let’s dive in…
PAY BY THE PROJECT, NOT BY THE HOUR
This is a must if you want to avoid getting taken advantage of. My suggestion for how to approach this is to come up with a list of tasks you need done, consult with your geek about them, then come up with project prices that you both feel are fair.
As you’re talking with your geek, you will want to ask them a few key questions for each of the tasks:
1. How do you intend to accomplish this task?
2. How long do you think it will take you to do?
3. What goes into this time estimate; why do you think it will take this long? What specific components of your work take up what amount of time?
4. Are there any alternate ways you can think of that will accomplish a similar result with a smaller time investment on your part?
I encourage you not to pay a deposit or anything like that – just keep it simple and pay them when the work is finished.
If you’re working with a high school or college student on a project that will take more than 10 hours, I suggest a brief 5 minute phone call after every 3 or 4 hour block of work to check in on progress, and keep them working diligently.
Once you’ve gone over everything with them and agreed on what to expect, be sure to send them an email confirmation, just to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
MULTIPLY THEIR DEADLINE BY TWO TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT
Multiply your geek’s proposed deadline by 2 or 3 to avoid getting disappointed. Usually when your geek puts together his or her quote in their head, they are planning it out under ideal circumstances. But so very rarely are the circumstances in a computer project ideal; something almost always comes up.
REMEMBER THEIR EGO
This point is huge when working with geeks. Honestly, upwards of 50% of geeks will get personally offended if you bluntly tell them that you don’t like their work. The way that you get around this is by being specific, and outlining as many up-sides as you do down-sides.
Example: “I really like where you’re going with this design, but I am not a big fan of the background color in the header. Can you have it be more of a deep blue, like they have at xyzwebsite.com?”
In this series of articles, I’ve given you the basics. Do you have any questions of comments? Please let me know below!
Guest blogger, Zach Swinehart, is a true geek. He is author of The Geek Guidebook, recommended for those who want to hire a geek and get it right the first time.