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What is it all worth.?

What is it all worth.?

(OP)
Just looking back at an old thread of mine thread222-1546387: Instantiation gobbly gook I asked the question as to what a vb6 programmer would likely charge to make for writing the program I briefly described?
Nobody dared reply.
This subject is rarely mentioned, perhaps due to the concern that they might be undercut next time they have to quote!(something like "don't mention the war!" in the old Faulty Towers series)

I'm not referring to the charge per hour hour a programmer might make but rather to the total end cost of a program, installed debugged and documented with a 12 mth warranty.

Nor am I referring to what a programmer from Bangladesh or Mumbai might charge either.

I'm not afraid to learn that I charged too little!

RE: What is it all worth.?

It's one of those things that doesn't have a simple answer.
When I do freelance work (regardless of language or platform requested) I might choose to go with an hourly rate or a flat charge for the end product, depending how much original work is needed. I have a codebase of previous work to draw on. The more I can draw on that, the less I charge, and the more likely I am to flat rate the job. I once charged a company $100 for a program that was essentially identical to one I already made, literally five minutes of work to modify it slightly. I felt like we both got a deal--but more importantly I built a business relationship. They called later for other work, because the owner felt he could trust me, and I ended up making more than if I had charged the original price for that program the second time.
I think I'm on the low end of the scale compared to the local big contractors for this kind of work, but that's attractive to small companies too.
It's all about being able to judge how fast you are and how much work you'll have to do. And sometimes that's an art in itself.

RE: What is it all worth.?

(OP)
I couldn't agree more. I always go for a flat charge and find customers prefer this.

Translating your comments I think it reads "Charge what the market will bear"

It seems the price of software is more related to the benefits it brings to then user rather than the cost of production.
Ms probably make their OS copies for $1 each but still charge over $100 each in this country.

It helps a lot once you get your foot in the door so often you have to initially charge lower if there is an expectation of more business.

Years ago, I wrote a complex program to control a machine that took me 2 months to do and I charged them $20,000. They were overjoyed because, as I found out later, their nearest other price from the "big boys" was $100,000! I was gnashing my teeth that I didn't charge more.
A few years later they expanded and bought 4 more virtually identical copies at $20,000 each without a murmur because they saved over $100,000 a year in operating costs.

On the other hand I wrote a program that took just as long and got only $5,000 for it because i knew it was all they could afford.

When it comes to talking money I always ask informally "what's your budget?" It is surprising how often people will tell you! If you pick about 75% of their maximum you usually get the job.

RE: What is it all worth.?

>Years ago, I wrote a complex program to control a machine that took me 2 months to do and I charged them $20,000. They were overjoyed because, as I found out later, their nearest other price from the "big boys" was $100,000! I was gnashing my teeth that I didn't charge more.

Let me guess, manufacturing or automation? I'm constantly shocked at how even the most simple things are quadruple priced just because they'll be used in an industrial setting. Many do set their own prices, since so few people have experience interfacing with PLCs or have a clear idea of production flow concepts.

RE: What is it all worth.?

(OP)
Neither - large screen advertising!

Bot really, it is a matter of how much a customer will benefit from it.
Only a fool would turn down an offer to earn $100,000 a year for only a single $20,000 outlay.

On the other hand when you consider the cost of learning, maintaining a business, girl at the desk, chrome and glass etc, you don't get much change. I still only drive a Nissan XTrail but see a lot of others driving around in Porches.

You are right in that programmers these days spend their time designing Apps for people to play with or manipulate money and have never learnt there is a real physical world out there to interface with.

I can imagine a new soldier in 20 years being handed a gun and asking "where is the ESC key?" (or more likely "how do you ask it to eject cartridges?")

RE: What is it all worth.?

Quote:

... with a 12 mth warranty

I don't recall having ever seen any program with a warranty before.

Heaven doesn't want me, and Hell's afraid I'll take over!

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