On Aug 15, 2014, at 2:49 PM, BWS Johnson wrote:

> Salvete!
>> My first thought was a project-based contract, too. But there are few
>> programmer projects that would require zero maintenance once finished. As
>> someone who has had to pick up projects "completed" by others, there 
>> are
>> always bugs, gaps in documentation, and difficult upgrade paths.
>     There could be follow up contracts for those problems, or they might be less of a hassle for in house staff to handle than trying to do absolutely errything from scratch.

That actually made me think of something -- 

I've worked in places where we've had issues with people brought in
as short-term contract developers.  The problem is ... the code was
crap.  As they didn't have to maintain it for the long run, they
wrote some really sloppy code.

I know of one group who brought someone in, they poo-pooed all of
the code, and insisted it had to be re-written (so they did ... in 
ksh ... without quoting anything ... and loading config files by
sourcing them)

... but of course, he was on an hourly contract, so he had a vested
interest in making more work for himself.  (and for me, as I was
then responsible for integrating their system w/ one that I maintain).

You also get cases where every change in the specs requires new
negotiation of payment.  (like the whole thing)


so to sum up ... if you don't already have an established
relationship with the person, I'd avoid bringing in someone to


>> So I have no solutions to offer. Enticing people with telework is a good
>> idea. It's disappointing to see libraries (and higher ed more generally)
>> continuing to not invest in software development. We need developers. If we
>> cannot find the money for them, perhaps we should re-evaluate our
>> (budgetary?) priorities.
>     Anytime I see things which I think more than one Library would like to have I think "Caw, innit that what a Consortium is for?" One member alone might not be able to afford a swank techie, but perhaps pooling resources across Libraries would let you hire someone at an attractive salary for the long haul while getting all of the members' projects knocked out. It would also mean that you don't have to do any of those nasty follow up contracts since the person that made it would still be about.

I'm pretty sure that there was someone on this list a few years back who made a comment if every library contributed 10% of an FTE of funding, we could fund a lot of developers.