Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Clients are not experts, so it's our responsibility to keep them informed.

Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
1 of 10

I've been going back and forth with a client who wants to hire me for a job.  I asked them if I could see the source code if they would like a more accurate estimate.


First of all, the project is for PHP development.  He's frustrated because the developers that he hired continually make mistakes and are unable to complete the project. 


Today I open my messages and they sent me a .zip archive.  I open it up and it's a compiled application without ANY source files.  Obviously, it's not written in PHP.  If he did have the source code, then I could go and fix the bugs and make improvements but I wouldn't because it's not the type of work that I choose to do.


The client has no clue that it was not written in PHP.  IMO, it isn't the type of application that you would even write in C# to begin with.  He basically has to start over from scratch because what he sent me is completely useless. 


There’s a post around the forum where freelancer was blaming the client for not giving them the proper instructions.  They should have made a recommendation to give the client an option instead of having their client be upset with them. 


Clients don’t always know what they want.  They ask for things that don’t make sense and aren’t the best option.  It’s our job as a freelancer to guide them so that they can make informed decisions. 


It’s not bad for me.  Instead of having to work with these other developers’ junk code; I’m most likely going to be hired to start from scratch.  It’s more money, cleaner, and easier.

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
2 of 10



I agree with you that in some cases, it's up to us to inform the client about what is needed. After all, we are supposed to be experts in our field.   Preston has said this more then once.


About half of the prospective clients in my niche have no idea really, what they need. This is sometimes a selling point for me. On the other hand, it can be frustrating when dealing with prospective clients.


On the flip side, some of the frustration I've seen in the Forums, regarding this topic, relates to the usage of Upwork in particular, or the general lack of HR finesse that clients display.


I'm all for having Upwork staff train clients on the usage of Upwork, and have screamed more then once for additional client training to be made available.


For clients who  obviously lack HR skills, these tend to be small, small businesess. I've found this can also be a selling point, though I don't have a degree in HR specifcially.


I do however, completely feel for everyone who has experince with the clients who can't generate a good job description.


Supposely, Upwork has a team to help clients with that, but either clients don't know abut it, or don't want to make use of it.

Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
3 of 10

It is difficult wearing all of the hats we are required to wear as a freelancer.  Giving bids based on a paragraph desciption and being expected to stay within their minimal budgets.  On top of that, we need to be project managers, handle support, be sales people, and so on...  It's a lot but that's just how it is...


I usually assume that clients have an idea of the end product, and they make decisions without having a complete grasp of what they want.  They should really hire someone to create the project specifications before asking for bids.  They want to save money by skipping that step and it just makes more work for the developer and adds risk to the project.


I usually get an idea of what they want and tell them what needs to be done.  I give wide ranges in the number of hours and tell them if they want a better estimate they need to elaborate their specifications.  I stopped taking large fixed priced projects because they almost always grow.  I had one client who expanded the project for 5x the number of hours.  That was the last time that I will ever let that happen.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 10

Oh Daniel, you are singing my song. Smiley Happy


He went with the cheap guy I suppose? 


In one way, I like for them to experience the junk coder/writer and understand that they just get junk. On the other  hand, it's frustrating because you have to explain the problem and make them understand that basically they would have been more productive had they just thrown the cash in some fire. So now, it's do over and you don't code for $20/hour.


I could rant about this all day... allll dayyyyy lol

Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
5 of 10

You're the best Jennifer!  Yep, they went cheap and wanted to hire me to fix it.  

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 10

Let me just take a guess...


They also said "well you have some code so it should be easy to fix or recreate right?"


Somewhere in there is "easy" because someone slopped together "something." LOL

Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
7 of 10

If Upwork was honest...  Smiley LOL



Community Guru
Claudia Z Member Since: Jul 28, 2015
8 of 10

Daniel, I agree it's our responsibility to inform the client, if he is ready and willing to listen and pay.

Regarding the pricing, it's old data but still worth to take a look.

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
9 of 10
Its interesting that there is so much data freely available there. And I'm being chided for scrounging up what I can find here to make it public.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Daniel C Member Since: Nov 21, 2010
10 of 10

Averages are not a great indicator of rates in my opinion. 


When someone has a lower rate, they will get more work, need more hours to complete the work, and ultimately lower the average.


When someone has a higher rate, they will get less work, need less hours to complete the work, and have very little affect on the average rates.


Plus, I've seen programmers working for $3/hr.  There are a lot more hours being worked at very low rates than higher rates so they have more effect on the averages.


Also, the stats don't really mention if it's the average hourly rate earned or listed on their profile.  This data could be interpreted many different ways.