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Archive for the ‘contracting’ Category

Price of GPL development #business #free #cost

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Script carved into the stone of the Tlos Soldiers Tombs

Four years ago I was working on a project using CMS for a company, I wrote a which could be used with to enhance the CMS we were using. The script was obviously written in customer time, and was paid for by the customer. As I often do I agreed with the customer that we release this to the community at large under GPL license. We gained bug reports, feedback and enhancement suggestions, which I used to enhance the script for everybody’s benefit.

4 years later there are not very many people who I know use the script, although I know one of the largest payrolling service in the Netherlands does. I recently was searching through my mail and the mails exchanged came up in the search results, so I mailed and inquired whether they were still using the script. I got a mail back and was told that they had been using it for the last 4 years, but that it would be broken when they migrated to the new version of a system. So naturally I offered to fix it for them and said I would come back with a time frame and costs. I had thought that it would probably take about 2 hours, but hadn’t said this. They were shocked at my response, their follow-up response was:

“Well, the first script I also downloaded from […] That was and is all free.”

Naturally I wrote back and explained that my original customer had paid for it and made it available, and that there were costs involved in the production of the script. They answered saying that they didn’t want the changes if they needed to pay for them. They obviously expect free beer too.

You can find the old script here: , not it might not work with the new Roxen CMS.

Image source: John Rutter

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

The Ladders’ fictional Betty Boss is hiring #recruitment

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created a fictional recruiter Betty Boss and interviewed her for the newsletter. They also share the reasons Betty didn’t hire me, so I would like to respond to fictional Betty Boss:

Hi Betty, thanks for allowing me to respond.

I never saw your resume

That’s true, you asked the recruiter to not reveal the company they were hiring for. They also couldn’t tell me the price they wanted to pay for my skills, so I didn’t send it. In the same way I am one of many, you are also just one of many. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Magento Customer Bröring Slaapcomfort #webshop #magento

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Magento Commerce

The company I do consulting work for asked me last year to put together an answer to a RFP/RFQ for a webshop. This was for an interior design store Bröring making its inroad into online shopping. We used to implement this, and although this was the first implementation of such a large platform it went very smoothly.

Bröring Slaapcomfort Webshop

The result can be found at . I’m happy with the result, we did it on time and under budget, and we were able to make the customer happy by giving them a support contract which fit their requirements.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

April 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Posted in business, contracting, web

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Educating Recruiters: The Recruiter’s POV #jobs #career

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If you are a recruiter reading this this is not an indictment of your profession, but a guide for your clients.

After my article Educating Recruiters: Gatekeepers to the HR gatekeepers I was not asked to clarify, nor was I put in my place. Julie Holmwood wrote a well augmented piece noting the omission and posted the recruiters point of view.

We [recruiters] get limited opportunities with a client to ‘impress them’. Sending CVs of candidates that can do the job but don’t match the spec mean that our lifespan with that client is likely to be coming to an abrupt end.

This is a serious issue, for our clients. (The recruiter and you have the same clients!) In the short term the client must be convinced that the product must be able to perform the task that the client requires, with in the terms the client has set. This means that a recruiters need to have a good match, but the client is the final judge, so to pass the client’s gatekeeper the client must be a paper match too.

You would be astounded to know how many candidates send brilliant emails stating that they can do specific jobs standing on their head and then attach a CV that doesn’t mention any relevant experience at all.

I’m not easily surprised, but I have been in charge of processing resumes that people send to companies, so I know how bad it can be. This is why it is so important to not just have a generalized resume that you send using the buckshot approach. For each position you apply for a custom resume is as important as a cover letter. And where a resume is broad it is the task of a cover letter to highlight the specificity of the match.

If you have already contacted a company within the last twelve months then there is no way we can represent you with that company. Typically a company’s terms state that candidates belong to an introducer for twelve months. Hence if you introduced yourself to them and we then reintroduced you they would say ‘we already know him’ and would discount you from our submission list. Part of our remit is to speak with candidates about the client as well as the role and re-submitting a candidate they know is another black mark against us and something we are typically briefed by the client not to do. Of course, there are always candidates that don’t tell us. In my experience it doesn’t do the candidate any favours and they are still discounted from our submissions.

This is a matter of contract law, and although this is a point of note for the recruiter a candidate should ignore this in my opinion. (Sorry Julie!) When a candidate is refused by a customer this could be for a completely different reason, it could just be that he/she is not a good match for the position. Case in point is when I was asked by a management recruiters to be a candidate for a consultant Business Analyst for a large Dutch ISP, the ISP felt I didn’t have the marketing experience for the position. Two months later when they needed a consultant role to advise the Business Analyst the HR department didn’t make an issue of the fact that I had applied previously for a different role.

Julie replies:

Should a candidate continue to directly approach Company A time and again for different positions that they feel they are qualified to do. If they want to work for Company A then yes, absolutely.

Should a recruiter submit the above candidate when they are already known to the company because they made an application a few weeks ago, either directly or via another recruiter, no. We are briefed by the client in the majority of cases not to do this and it is bad recruitment practice. In many cases if the recruiter ignores this and re-submits a candidate that is known to the client they will not be allowed to make any charge.

I think this can be a win-win-win process for clients, candidates and recruiters but all parties have to believe that everyone is working for the greater good. When the candidate sees the recruiter as their enemy that they need to conquer to get to the good job they are probably not starting from the right place!

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I need to note here is that the recruiter is NOT the enemy! The recruiter is a service provider, I may not always agree with the way they provide the service, yet I respect the service they provide. I am a true geek hacker, and social engineering is part of my portfolio.

Your opinion is most welcome!

Published with permission of Julie Holmwood

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Image source: AttributionNo Derivative WorksSome rights reserved by meahtsingan

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Educating Recruiters: Gatekeepers to the HR gatekeepers #jobs #career

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If you are a recruiter reading this this is not an indictment of your profession, but a guide for your clients.

I’m unlike many people who work with recruiters in that I’ve never gotten a job via a recruiter, usually I find something under my own steam. This doesn’t mean that recruiters don’t help me to keep my resumes up to date and my skillset relevant. When a project has finished I often go to appointments set up by recruiters. And there are a number of reasons why I mostly don’t match with what the customer is looking for. So why is this?

  • Recruiters are looking to match keywords not people
  • Recruiters are looking for certificates not knowledge
  • Recruiters are limiting themselves and you
  • Recruiters are selling you, not working for you

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 23, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Ten Tips to help you move ahead #career #jobs

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Posted in business, contracting, lifehacks, risk

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Writing, Translating and Quotes

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As I said previously I was getting into translation, I actually translated two documents yesterday. It was quite a challenge to correctly word something, keeping the spirit of the Dutch while writing coherent English. The guy who contracted me to work for him send me a number of links, and I found  George Orwell’s six elementary rules (“Politics and the English Language”, 1946):

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.


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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

Posted in contracting

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