On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 11:34:30AM +0300, OOzy Pal wrote:

> Hello,
> I have just hired a remote PHP programmer. His main job is web
> development and applications.
> I have few concerns, I would be happy if someone can point me to the
> right direction.
>    1. How can I provide him the requirements. I mean how can I analyze
> the site and put everything in writing.
>    2. How can I estimate manhours.
> Is there a sample web site/application anyalsis.
> Basically, what is provided to the programmers in order for them to
> start working?

I know it's probably a lot to ask, but it's at least 50% up to the
programmer to drag out of you what's needed. Customers usually don't or
can't express what they want very well, and don't realize what
trade-offs they're asking for. As the customer, do the best you can. As
the programmer, your vendor will have to do the best he can to
understand and deliver what you want. Unfortunately, coders don't always
have the best communication skills. It's a problem.

You have no idea how many hours this will take, and neither does he.
It's unbelievably difficult to estimate that properly. And because
you're not a programmer, you have no way to evaluate what he tells you
it will take. Sorry.

I hate to sound all doom-and-gloomy, but I've worked for programming
companies and I've done programming as an independent programmer. And
I've rarely seen estimates come in on the button. And my experience with
customers defining their requirements is that, as the vendor, I have to
do most of the work. My company does logos as well and if you think
website requirements are hard to define, you have no idea. Logos are a
whole different level of difficulty.

Paul M. Foster

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