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This is not how you should interview a contractor!

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  • WTFH
    replied
    Originally posted by jayn200 View Post

    It's fun, you just gotta to with the flow. Enjoy the ride.

    I guess I am taking the tulip contracts no one else wants? Lol I would have probably gladly took the contract you interviewed for if I wasn't in contract right now.
    Nope, you're not taking the contracts no one wants, you're taking the contracts where you have to think. You base the evolving solution on your experience, you get to learn, you leave the project knowing more than when you started and can take that knowledge on to the next place.

    When I read about people saying they know it all and everyone must do things exactly the same way, who never learn anything positive from a contract - well they are the ones I wouldn't want to work with on a job. I need to know I've got people with me who are interested, who can think for themselves, who can discuss ideas and take suggestions from others. And the great thing is that you CAN get all that from an interview.

    Leave a comment:


  • LondonManc
    replied
    Originally posted by jayn200 View Post
    Not quite sure how I am unprofessional. I get tulip done, if that's what you consider unprofessional than I guess I am in your eyes.

    For what it's worth I also primarily do erp data migrations and I've yet to walk into a contract that had good documentation. I have primarily worked on mid range erp projects though, doing a business central one right now migrating from a no name erp system that's running on a 30 year old version of an informix database.

    At least 50% of my projects I am migrating from systems that don't have a data dictionary and I have to define and map the data myself. Quite often 90% of the people (sometimes everyone but me) involved in the project have never done a erp migration before.

    It's fun, you just gotta to with the flow. Enjoy the ride.

    I guess I am taking the tulip contracts no one else wants? Lol I would have probably gladly took the contract you interviewed for if I wasn't in contract right now.
    This. You're generally migrating off something because it's old, not very supportable, no longer fit for purpose or a combination thereof.
    Even more so where bespoke systems were all the rage 15-20 years ago and are now reaching end of life and an olf-the-shelf solution seems more sensible.

    Leave a comment:


  • SussexSeagull
    replied
    We all have shocking interviews from time to time, I certainly have, but at the moment I would be nodding along to anything if it got me a few months of billing.

    Leave a comment:


  • jayn200
    replied
    Originally posted by cyborg1337 View Post
    So would I in most cases, but this is not how this interview was conducted. And it became apparent that this project lacks ownership of the business requirements and because of the complex nature of the application (which also lacks the crucial testing coverage or documentation) you will inevitably miss requirements or make an error with the functionality at some point. The entire liability of this migration is on you. I've worked with consultancies, they would never ever make themselves entirely liable like this. But they also have the power to set things right from the begining (and this doesn't happen overnight). A single developer could deliberatly putting their neck on the line here; I'm surprised how naive people in this forum are.

    Also I did not really blow my interview. I asked a few competent questions; The questions stumped him, whereas in the case of a previous interview for a migration project it resulted in a very good conversation.

    Finally, the interview process in general is really flawed. Making contractors do random coding challenges is also pointless. In this interview, if the person does not ask the right sort of questions and his expectations about the role are not clear, they're going to find themselves in a lot of trouble after and likely to leave with unfinished or poorly done work. Jayn200's quote from the previous post is a good example of this sort of unprofessionalism:
    Not quite sure how I am unprofessional. I get tulip done, if that's what you consider unprofessional than I guess I am in your eyes.

    For what it's worth I also primarily do erp data migrations and I've yet to walk into a contract that had good documentation. I have primarily worked on mid range erp projects though, doing a business central one right now migrating from a no name erp system that's running on a 30 year old version of an informix database.

    At least 50% of my projects I am migrating from systems that don't have a data dictionary and I have to define and map the data myself. Quite often 90% of the people (sometimes everyone but me) involved in the project have never done a erp migration before.

    It's fun, you just gotta to with the flow. Enjoy the ride.

    I guess I am taking the tulip contracts no one else wants? Lol I would have probably gladly took the contract you interviewed for if I wasn't in contract right now.

    Leave a comment:


  • cyborg1337
    replied
    Originally posted by perplexed View Post
    So when you want to bring in subbies, are you funding them or are you expecting the client to?
    This is why it's very important that expectations are in line from the very start.

    More than happy to take a significant cut and fund a sub-contractor to ensure a project is delivered to a high standard (limited duration of course). Client satisifcation has always been important to me - I hate the idea of leaving my work unfinished or done to a poor standard.

    Leave a comment:


  • perplexed
    replied
    Originally posted by cyborg1337 View Post
    The majority of my previous contracts have been struggling clients who have needed help. It's never been about me wanting things to be in neat little boxes; My contracts have been far from that; Migration projects in particular are far from that.

    You are very naive, if you think a single contractor can just come in and solve this particular mess. There is also a huge liabilty on the person doing this project because of a lack of ownership of the business requirements.

    PS: I am successful contractor; Been in the industry for a while; Worked on some really challenging projects.
    So when you want to bring in subbies, are you funding them or are you expecting the client to?

    Leave a comment:


  • cyborg1337
    replied
    Originally posted by jayn200 View Post
    If an agent called me up tomorrow and said "I have a client that is willing to pay 600/day and needs someone to start monday, they think your profile is a good fit but i haven't seen a job spec and they don't have time to do an interview. Are you interested? Can you start Monday?"

    I would say "Yes send me the contract, ill get it signed right away and be there Monday."
    .
    So would I in most cases, but this is not how this interview was conducted. And it became apparent that this project lacks ownership of the business requirements and because of the complex nature of the application (which also lacks the crucial testing coverage or documentation) you will inevitably miss requirements or make an error with the functionality at some point. The entire liability of this migration is on you. I've worked with consultancies, they would never ever make themselves entirely liable like this. But they also have the power to set things right from the begining (and this doesn't happen overnight). A single developer could deliberatly putting their neck on the line here; I'm surprised how naive people in this forum are.

    Also I did not really blow my interview. I asked a few competent questions; The questions stumped him, whereas in the case of a previous interview for a migration project it resulted in a very good conversation.

    Finally, the interview process in general is really flawed. Making contractors do random coding challenges is also pointless. In this interview, if the person does not ask the right sort of questions and his expectations about the role are not clear, they're going to find themselves in a lot of trouble after and likely to leave with unfinished or poorly done work. Jayn200's quote from the previous post is a good example of this sort of unprofessionalism:

    ...I don't actually really care. You figure that all out on the first couple weeks and you can always leave anyway.
    Last edited by cyborg1337; 11 June 2020, 20:19.

    Leave a comment:


  • jayn200
    replied
    Originally posted by cyborg1337 View Post
    The majority of my previous contracts have been struggling clients who have needed help. It's never been about me wanting things to be in neat little boxes; My contracts have been far from that; Migration projects in particular are far from that.

    PS: I am successful contractpr; Been in the industry for a while; Worked on some really challenging projects.
    I guess I just don't understand why it shocks you that the person interviewing you doesn't have any answers to technical questions for you. Maybe you are very competent for your job but from your explanation it doesn't look like you handled the interview well. That is quite common for technical people even really strong ones, I've blown lots of interviews over the years.

    Personally, I also don't hold the traditional viewpoint that interviews are 2 way. We are competing for work. I usually ask about the team and the problem but that's more just for the sake of being conversational and letting the interview flow a little better and also it's expected these days, I don't actually really care. You figure that all out on the first couple weeks and you can always leave anyway.

    If an agent called me up tomorrow and said "I have a client that is willing to pay 600/day and needs someone to start monday, they think your profile is a good fit but i haven't seen a job spec and they don't have time to do an interview. Are you interested? Can you start Monday?"

    I would say "Yes send me the contract, ill get it signed right away and be there Monday."

    If I have multiple contract offers I assess them based off the day rate, starting date, hours worked, working location (home, close by, long commute), payment terms not based off whether i think the work is easy or not but again maybe that's just me. I am little unusual.

    Leave a comment:


  • cyborg1337
    replied
    Originally posted by rootsnall View Post
    The interview very rarely gives you any clue of what the gig will be like so making the interviewer squirm is not good. Best interview I ever had was 'I haven't got a clue if you are any good and can't ask you pertinent questions as I'm not a techie but we'll sack you asap if you don't know your stuff, can you start tomorrow ?'
    Yeah I had an interview like that before! Contract worked out really well for both of us.
    Last edited by cyborg1337; 11 June 2020, 15:24.

    Leave a comment:


  • cyborg1337
    replied
    Originally posted by jayn200 View Post
    To be a successful contractor it helps to be an excellent problem solver and to be confident in your ability to solve those problems with limited information. This is just how it is due to the shorter duration. You don't have 6 months to on board and get trained.

    Companies quite often don't know the answer to the questions you're asking, that's why they're bringing in a contractor. Quite often they don't even know what their real problem is or how to explain it. That's quite often part of the process. They just understand something isn't working or that they need to deliver something but they're not always sure what that is.

    That's quite normal of a situation. If you're uncomfortable with that level of ambiguity than maybe it's not for you.

    Previously there have been tons of permi positions set up as contract roles as a tax dodge that would work well for you. Unfortunately those are all going to disappear if they haven't already with new ir35 changes.

    It sounds like this contract wouldn't have been good for you anyway because you appear to like everything in a neat little box and this company probably has a messy problem they want a contractor to clean up and that's just now what you do.

    So it's good they bring you on board and it's good for you you didn't get it because you probably wouldn't have excelled there. Nothing wrong with that.

    But there is also nothing wrong with the company seeking out a contractor in their current situation. I don't think they did anything wrong, just wasn't a good match. That's why there is an interview.
    The majority of my previous contracts have been struggling clients who have needed help. It's never been about me wanting things to be in neat little boxes; My contracts have been far from that; Migration projects in particular are far from that.

    You are very naive, if you think a single contractor can just come in and solve this particular mess. There is also a huge liabilty on the person doing this project because of a lack of ownership of the business requirements.

    PS: I am successful contractor; Been in the industry for a while; Worked on some really challenging projects.
    Last edited by cyborg1337; 11 June 2020, 16:01.

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