Lessons in Contracting
You Have a Contract, Right?
Issue: 7.1 (November/December 2008)
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 5,252
Starting Page Number: 45
RBD Number: 7117
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Excerpt of article text...
Writing software for others can be a tricky profession. The client often has totally unrealistic expectations on how software development works. They give vague requirements (or none!) and expect you, the developer, to read their mind and produce an awesome application. And therein lies the problem, because there's a wide difference between their requirements (or lack thereof) and the finished project. A handshake and a verbal agreement just isn't good enough -- You need to protect yourself (and the client) with a contract and spell everything out.
If you don't have a contract already, my preferred place to begin is by going to the NOLO (www.nolo.com) legal form center and purchasing their package of fill-in-the-blank documents. These forms aren't perfect, but they've been looked at by lawyers, and -- in lieu of hiring your own lawyer -- a heck of a lot cheaper.
The basic contract has little over a dozen sections. I'll just highlight a few of the sections that seem to grab people's attention.
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