Nothing Too Small to Discuss!
There’s no harm in talking about your need, large or small, and I’m always willing to sign a reasonable NDA. I’ll tell you if your need is well suited to what I do, and if it’s not, I’ll try to guide you to the answer free of charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you incorporated? Insured?
Yes and yes. People know my name and associate “Clay Turner” with what I do; that’s why I’ve optimized for that identity online. The corporate entity through which I do business is Turner Legacy Holdings, a Kentucky, LLC. SClayTurner.com is an “outpost” of Turner Legacy Holdings since the work I do is a key service offering of the company itself, demanding its own online brochure so-to-speak. The holding company encapsulates certain financial and intellectual property interests, and is the company you’ll actually contract with to engage me. Turner Legacy Holdings is insured at 7 figures, with proof of coverage available upon request.
What are your rates?
Depending on the level of commitment, rates can vary. Development projects are typically billed on a fixed bid basis and may be negotiated. Most of my clients like that model; especially those who have experienced the “suck” of development firms. Retained hours are billed at $125 per hour, with services ranging from coding, to data analysis, to reporting, to graphic design and brand development. Don’t let rate scare you. My clients find that I work 2-3 times faster than most, and provide a better outcome thanks to a long history in the business.
Do you ever work for equity in a start-up?
Rarely. I do explore business opportunities, and, on occassion, make investments of time and talent. A great deal of my experience is with technology start-ups, and I am always interested in seeing good things come to life as affordably as possible. There are creative ways to fund a development effort, and I can shed light on any potential financing options; options that may or may not involve equity.
Are You Willing to Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
I do it all the time. Most of my clients have very reasonable NDA requirements, and I can provide a mutual NDA to clients who lack one. Likewise, there are certain types of data in industry sectors that require additional protections. Having worked heavily in both Financial Services and Healthcare, I am more than willing to provide additional assurances in order to meet the needs of clients operating in highly regulated environments.
Who Owns What You Code For me?
You do, unless we have come to some other well-documented and mutually agreed upon arrangement. I don’t claim ownership if compensation is defined and provided, given the customary contractor/contractee relationship. Likewise, I’m happy to help you obtain all appropriate intellectual property (IP) protections, making it a crime for others to infringe upon your ownership. Of course the converse is true, and obtaining appropriate licensing to avoid infringement upon others’ IP rights is something I always seek to disclaim for your further protection.
How Do You Approach an Engagement?
There is always a free, no obligation discussion on the front-end, no matter what the engagement involves. Establishing rapport and qualifying the need is critical. No matter the outcome of initial discussion, I always try to provide feedback that is relavent and helpful. A proposal is then submitted. Upon acceptance, additional analysis is performed, but “methdology” is really a function of the business environment. A full, detailed specification may or may not be appropriate. Where a waterfall approach is warranted, it’s employed. Where an agile and iterative methodology is warranted, it’s applied accordingly. Regardless, I am a stickler for providing excellent documentation that I, and or others, can follow intuitively, and status is articulated routinely. I use Basecamp to establish a project repository for all participants to stay coordinated.
Do You Ever Subcontract?
Most engagements are facilitated by me and me alone. I prefer it that way. However, on projects that require additional human resources, I have a network of trusted people that pull together as a team. These are people who I have worked with in the past, and with whom I am strategically aligned. I never mark up their rates. I don’t like that model. As far as the converse goes, I typically do not provide my services through a 3rd party to best protect my own reputation. I do, on occassion, work through 3rd party, “partner” organizations whom I trust to deliver a broader package, i.e. “managed services” to the end client.
How Do You Feel About Offshore Development?
I do not recommend it for mission-critical projects because the expectations are always very high and disappointment often more pronounced as a result. The horror stories you hear typically result from projects that were never really a good fit for it, and unfortunately too few offshore operations will qualify that on the front-end. The usual complaints center on mounting hours which negate the lower rate, poor communication, and repeated compromises on original intent. However, offshore has its place for non-mission-critical projects that can be tightly spec’ed. For projects that have a component suited for offshore development, I can provide insight, management, and a partner organization.
Dude. What If You Get Hit By a Bus? What Then?
Yeah, well let’s hope not, but this is a very valid question. So many risks are offset by the world of “cloud services” that we now live in. Codes, documents, communications, and the like are checked in daily to a central, web-based repository that you have access to. In other words, you’ll have access to obtain your recently updated files. Likewise, having worked with many developers over such a long period of time, I facilitate work with “continuity” in mind; in other words, anything developed is according to industry standards that any experienced developer would understand and continue forward with. That said, people do produce different flavors of work so I am a strong fan of very verbose comments and documentation.
What About After an Engagement With You?
You are not left high-and-dry. Bugs are ideally identified during the Quality Assurance phase of a project, with defects tracked, reproduced, and then eliminated prior to release. However, a 30-day warranty for any work exists after deployment in order to fix any remaining issues with “existing” functionality. It does not serve me at all to have unhappy customers; satisfaction is #1. If additional work is desired beyond an initial engagement, i.e. for maintenance, updates, and enhancements, then we simply define that in a professional services agreement or new scope of work.