What Clients Need to Know About Nigerian Web Developers – I’ll talk from the programmer’s perspective.
Many programmers here are employed, its too risky to voice out.
So you’ll almost never see it here that a programmer comes to call out a client.
Also, developers all around the world miss deadlines but people voice out only when its Nigerian developer because its uncool to admit that Indian or Pakistani developers failed after coming out publicly to shame Nigerian developers.
There are many reasons why project deadlines are missed, some are the faults of the developers some aren’t.
But one thing is very clear, programming is a very high cognitive task, you can’t develop muscle memory on it.
These days, A new version of platforms appear every 4 months.
The programmer has to relearn everything all over again every quarter.
Unlike in accounting or economics or law where things stay almost exactly the same for decades, even centuries.
Programming isn’t a straightforward task like preparing a document, completing an excel sheet or contacting a client.
Its really tough to give very accurate deadlines, every block of code requires active thinking, testing and rewriting.
Yes, some devs take up more jobs because the clients some times beat down the price so low (its Nigerian, so cheap labour) that the dev has to take up more jobs just to out food on the table.
Some people even want the work done free, before they can pay.
Average programming salary in the US is $7,000, in Nigeria its $350.
The gap is too wide for the exact same job isn’t it.
There is also the grocery syndrome that happens to some project owners.
They won’t pay 300k ($700) for a project in Nigeria but when they contact Indian developers they are happy to pay $3,000.
Some will leave devs that have the portfolio of knowledge to execute the project and go hand the project over to a first timer in that field just because they charged way lower.
About calls, if a feature isn’t complete, it isn’t complete, calling 300 times a day won’t complete the feature, it will simply put more pressure on the developer who might choose to ignore the calls totally.
Some clients are happy to think about a project for 3 years, finally when they contact a programmer and learn that it will take 4 months to build, they want it built in 2 weeks or threaten to pull out of the deal!
A project that will take 9 months to deliver will take 9 months even if the pregnant woman is mandated to deliver in 2 weeks.
Anything before 9 months is premature.
There are many solutions to some of these problems, one is to always meet your developer at least once every week to get a demo of features so far.
Or get another developer to do the meeting.
As a developer, this is a method I have adopted in recent times for my clients.
No project will ever be completed if the requirements are constantly changing.
Some clients have new ideas every fresh week.
They’ll bully the dev into accepting the new ideas because they are the ones with the money.
There are several software companies that will never invest in the training of their developers.
Devs don’t deserve training, they are machines with infinite intelligence.
Learning time is not factored into the time table of many software companies.
They don’t just care that devs need to re-learn the ever changing platforms they are using every 4 months.
Or maybe, they are approaching software developers the way they would approach business or hr teams where the field of knowledge doesn’t change much over the decades.
In programming, there is a new version of the platform the programmer is using every 4 months!
Never put a non-tech person to supervise a tech team, its always disastrous because of the sharp contrast in their backgrounds.
Its like putting a choirmaster to lead a military squad.
No matter how good of a manager the choirmaster is, so many choir principles that have been proven to work won’t just work on soldiers and warfare.
I know many programmers that can’t just wait to quit their jobs just because of their direct supervisor who is out of touch with programming reality.
There is a reason almost all the successful tech companies are co-founded by people with strong tech backgrounds.
Also as the original post says, learning programming on your own will make it much easier to understand the best way to relate with devs and get results.
Written by Dave Partner Ozoalor