No gold medals for this competition...




  • I am a web developer for a small company that is in a vicious competition with a larger company over a major client. An opportunity arose for us to build a brand new site for this major client, so we threw all of our resources at it.

    Half the company spent months preparing for a listening/usability session for the very specific audience for this new site. The audience kept journals specifically so we could build a website catered to their needs. Our designers spent days drawing on posterboards with sharpies!

    The listening/usability session comes and goes and we get great feedback. Apparently this very specific audience likes videos, blogs, instant messaging, cell phones, and social sites. We gather this information and put it into a proposal. This is when I join the team and get to put together an estimate for a social networking site that contains the following features:

    • Social bookmarking
      Functionality similar to Facebook and Myspace. Skinning of profile page, friends lists, personal blog.
    • Video Uploading/Sharing
      Like Youtube, with ranking/voting.
    • Instant Chat
      A built-in instant messaging client.
    • Calendar System
      Personalized calendars with custom email and SMS alerts.
    • Message Boards
    • 24/7 Help Support Chat
    • 25 more mundane features, e.g. flash intros, feedback forms, CMS for news, tag clouds, etc.

    At this point, I would like to mention I am the only programmer in my small web company. I feel like I am working for a Craigslist joke job listing.

    I'll be spending my days figuring out how to merge 15 Open Source platforms into Facebook-, YouTube-, AIM- and WordPress-Killer. I am a little bitter.



  • Wow, I feel sorry for you.  That actually looks sort of familiar, since half of the stuff on RentACoder and similar sites is like that ("Make me a YouTube + MySpace clone!").


    Another thing is, why can't these people just use the [b]existing[/b] Facebook, YouTube, AIM (or MSN/Jabber/whatever), which already are great at what they do, instead of trying to shove it all together into one big mess of a web app? 



  • @burntfuse said:

    Another thing is, why can't these people just use the existing Facebook, YouTube, AIM (or MSN/Jabber/whatever), which already are great at what they do, instead of trying to shove it all together into one big mess of a web app? 

    Because using those apps is not enterprisey enough!



  •  I bet you'll have some fun being the 24/7 support guy too!



  • @el chupapadre said:

    Our designers spent days drawing on posterboards with sharpies!

    TRWTF.

     

    Seriously, though, when your requirements spec contains several uses of "just like {Web 2.0 success story}" you need to just run the fuck away right there.  Even if you deliver, the client probably won't be able to pay you. 



  • wtf, your app doesn't even have Google functionality



  • I'm justing posting to promote this tag. And ok, to give you my simpathies too.

    Oh, and I'm trying to not visualize what your username implies..

    EDIT: also, am I the only geek that noticed that vt_mruhlin now has 404 posts? (as of this post

    morbius needs one more to reach 2008

     



  •  Hey, do you work at my place???

    Oh no, wait - that would mean we actually have 2 developers :-)



  •  Reminds me of when a family friend approached me to do a website for a new business he was trying to start on the side, dealing with yoga and holisitic medicines all that kind of stuff.

     Sounded easy when he described it first to me - could use a bog-standard CMS like Joomla, plug in some free template. Standard business site - who we are, what we do, where we are, contact us, etc.Two days' work, easy-peasy.

     Then he went on and said that he'd like to have some social networking in it too, "Like bebo and myspace", and some forums and a chat client would be good too. He never managed to accurately explain to me why a business site would have a social networking aspect to it. It also had to be done cheap. Like the equivalent of a month's rent cheap.

     I went on to list off some of the properties that a normal social networking site and forums would have and he turned down most of them saying that they were unnecessary. So I was still thinking I could use standard open source packages, integrate them and then hack them until they were crippled and bleeding.

     It was a favour, but it was also a business, so I quoted him probably about a third of what it would normally cost, which was about a fifth of another quote he'd gotten from a professional web firm (as opposed to a hobbyist like me) and about twice a month's rent. He still turned it down. I was quite relieved. 

     I think the WTF here is that I quoted him at all.



  •  I NEED A WEB SITE JUST LIKE MYSPAC/FACEBOOK/YOUTUBE, NEW CODE ONLY, NO OPEN SOURCE STUFF, ALL NEED TO BE DONE FOR UNDER $500 ON THE CHEAP!!!@



  • @Monomelodies said:

     Hey, do you work at my place???

    Oh no, wait - that would mean we actually have 2 developers :-)

    I think we've just identified the competition!  You and the OP should have an old fashioned duel to determine who gets the contract.  Choose your weapons gentlemen!

     



  • @el chupapadre said:


    I'll be spending my days figuring out how to merge 15 Open Source platforms into Facebook-, YouTube-, AIM- and WordPress-Killer. I am a little bitter.

    Hmmm, depending on how large the 'larger company' is you may well do a better job than they would have done!




  • Soooo typical - make it do [i]everything[/i] in no time and for no cost (coding is trivial, after all, any 10 year old can make a website, right?)



  • "No, it can't be done by next tuesday"

    "No, a $5 a month shared hosting is not enough for your site."

    "Mmmm.. nope, It's not a good idea that to host your own site on your recepcionist PC"

    "No, it cannot be on the first page result page of google the day of the launch without paying for an ad"

    "Yes you have to provide the content".

    "Yes you will have to hire a translator if you want the page in german" 

    "Yes, it will cost you that much, and it will take tha many months". 

    "Yes, I know someone who can do it cheaper and faster, go to www.willcodeforfood.net"



  •  TRWTF is that the audience members wanted flash intros. I couldn't have imagined that any user of a web page would want intros, just the marketing department.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Seriously, though, when your requirements spec contains several uses of "just like {Web 2.0 success story}" you need to just run the fuck away right there.  Even if you deliver, the client probably won't be able to pay you. 

    I'd add to that, percieved Web 2.0 success story. Facebook has been recently used as one of those "success stories", however it doesn't seem to be making any money, and it also seems to be losing user's interest. Of course, that doesn't stop others from trying to imitate them, so we get WTF projects. Which is when any decent dev should run for his life and never turn back!


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