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Comment Re:Get ready for Failure (Score 1) 140

One thing to bear in mind is that there are different degrees of failure. Breaking even on a job or losing face are unfortunate but you can ounce back from those. Indeed, a lot can still be learned from the experience. Bankrupting yourself is much harder. Often when people talk about accepting failure, it usually more along the lines of handling disappointment and facing up to certain realities. Losing all your savings, your house - even your family - is a whole other state of affairs, and one which destroys lives. Judge your opportunities sensibly, take calculated risks but do not be reckless.

Comment Re:Rules of Freelancing (Score 2) 140

Excellent post.

I'd just like to reiterate how important it is to have access to a good lawyer. Although most of your clients will be decent people, there will be one or two who turn out to be complete assholes. With experience you get better at spotting these people sooner and avoiding them. Alarm bells include: Being hard to reach, not returning your phone calls in a timely fashion, pleading poverty/extenuating circumstances, and asking you to start work at too short a notice. The parent also mentioned attempts to push a dodgy contract on you. These point to poor management skills, incompetence and general shadiness. Agreeing to work for them may be far more trouble that it is worth.

If they think you are just a lone freelancer, they may try to bully you into doing things that you do not agree with; that are detrimental to your livelihood and mental health. This may be "going the extra mile" and working extra hours for free to keep them happy. At worst, they may simply not want to pay you, thinking they can get away with it. This is when you need a lawyer to back you up. It sounds crazy I know, but there are people out there who will take your work and run away laughing,"So sue me!"

The parent's escrow suggestion is a good idea. You can also stipulate certain milestones in the contract at which you are paid a certain amount. A deposit up front is one way of testing the client's ability or pay. If there are sign of them having trouble, walk.

Comment Credit is not everything (Score 2) 275

Credit is very nice, but at the end of the day it is getting the job done that matters. If you are good at what you do then that will usually be recognised. You will be a valued team member. If for some reason though a company fails to appreciate your efforts and you feel hard done by, then it is time to move elsewhere. They will suffer the consequences in due course, but that is their problem.

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 2) 94

Unfortunately it's not just cheap, trashy, poorly thought-out phones that have non-standard connectors. Even the iPhone and iPad have a non-standard port. Using the headphone socket is a very pragmatic solution which allows one to cover a very broad range of devices.

Comment Whatever happened to to Tom Lord's Arch? (Score 2) 442

Tom Lord, developer of rival Arch must be spitting blood at the success of Git.

I followed Arch's development back in 2004 and quickly lost interest. The last crazy thing I remember was Tom trying to build a home-brew LISP derivative *into* his version control system. It was going to revolutionise everything. He even wrote a long manifesto-cum-design document in three parts. At that point I gave up and moved to Subversion. I just wanted a modern version control system that worked.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten