Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Three Hard Lessons in Consulting

1. Don't start the project until everything is ready. If a machine needs more memory to run the next version of an application, wait for the memory.

2. Stop working after the agreed period of time. It's better to disappoint a client and renegoiate than to surprise them with unexpected billable hours.

3. Windows infrastructure has a price. Locked directories, having to use Notepad, Wordpad or install Emacs, debugging complex service configurations: all of these things add up to about 25% more time taken during major tasks such as upgrades.

I'm officially and practically platform-independent in the services I provide. Linux, Unix, Windows, OS X, I do them all. But from now on I'm going to start charging different rates for Windows environments. Not a lot, just enough to offset the extra time and effort that they require.

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