Re: Questions for Contractors

Subject: Re: Questions for Contractors
From: iluvvscotties -at- earthlink -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 17:26:31 -0500

At 01:13 PM 03/15/2001 -0800, Ram Woolyback wrote:

We may need to hire a contrator for a short time and I
wanted to know what kinds of questions should I ask
a potential contractor. It seems to me that the ques-
tions would be different from a full-time candidate, since
the goals of the employer and candidate are different.

Along this line, remember to ensure that the contract clearly states ownership of anything written/developed. Many contractors have been generously paid to develop systems (or whatever) -- and, upon completion, sold them commercially.

On the other side of the coin, contractors bring certain skills and generic procs which were developed long before they ever heard of you, and to which you have no rights whatsoever. For those, the contract should state that you'll be able to use and modify them at will, but cannot divulge them to anyone outside the company, much less market them commercially.

The point is that employers and contractors view this from different perspectives, and both positions must be taken into consideration to achieve amicable solutions.

In this regard, if there is any development involved (e.g., if the developers will also be writing the documentation and/or manuals), it is imperative to ensure that you have full source code, and that it is clearly documented. At my last job, I saw one companywide application used by 10,000 employees for which the developer had to be called in and paid premium rates every time someone got a new printer. That's because they initially forgot to request source code -- and then, when they purchased it (and paid through the nose), didn't think to have anyone remotely knowledgeable look at it, with the result that it was solely comprised of A1, B2, C3, etc., rather than any remotely meaningful names.


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