Per Diem FAQ
A Dozen Futuristically Answered Questions about the on-site Per Diem service offering (Agile/UnitXP day labor) service ...
- What do you mean by 'Per Diem Jobbing'?
Per Diem jobs are task focused project work which is purchased as a given number of Professional Days.
- How many hours are in a standard professional day?
Zero, 24, however many task performance takes, whatever way you want to look at it. If it was an hourly rate it would be given as such.
- How much is it?
See Payments for current general telecommute day rate, online resume cover page for others. Note that my hourly rates are denominated in Euros, but the day rate in US Dollars.
- What guarantees come with this?
That depends on the structures supporting development/production for the work undertaken. If there are essentially no such structures then there are no guarantees and as is well known, project outcome depends on worker heroics. If you are developing within my framework then you have guarantees which involve full refund of any fees within specified periods.
- Does a professional day correspond to a biz day in some region?
Yes and no. The primary performance period for the day is the associated calendar GMT biz day contracted, by default wherever I am, typically the Niagara region of North America. Performance may span a longer period however as I normally provide period of follow on e-mail support. I can also accomodate the biz day and timezone of any region of the earth on a case by case basis.
In performance, I do not observe state or religious holidays, but do fairly strictly observe the regional biz day, by default, that of New York state.
- What is your personal availability? Can we see/hear you live?
On-site in-person time is billed at the current all-inclusive hourly rate so that is inapplicable here. I do have a deskcam which can be best viewed with my IM of choice Yahoo. The day rate does not normally include voice support other than at during first contact or during a teleconference, e.g with gotomeeting. My real-time availability can be seen in my google calendar accessible from the online resume cover page.
- What is 'gotomeeting' ?
It is a service offering of Citrix which allows a teleconference where the participants can exchange control of one or more Mac or Windows desktops. The client software is free and the organizer of the meeting (me in this case) pays the fees for use of the service. You can download the client for the service for your desktop here . Get the free trial version which you can use as long as you like as a participant . They very aggressively try to sell you a paid account but it's part of thier biz model for the client to be free so just continue to use it for meetings intiated by anyone else (not just me).
The voice component is a conference call which will be a toll call to a US number. The video portion if any would be supplied seperately as noted above.
I use VNC and the windows native remote desktop as well and most targeted unix servers are controlled via sshd command line access so use of the Citrix service is just an option but a superior one in many cases.
- What is the primary cause of buyer satisfaction or its opposite?
Buyers expectations are sometimes radically at odds with the realities of the tasks they intend, are flakily changed during execution of a deal undertaken without rigorous specification but at fixed cost, etc. When these sorts of extra-technical problems are manifest, which they often are, managing the interaction to a successful outcome is challenging and can become problematic. Conversely, when buyers present the opposite sort of profile, as noted above under 'guarantee' successful outcome probability becomes equivalent to a technical issue.
- Can I get a refund?
Yes, but only if you accept the offer for same when it is proferred pro forma. I will normally do this early in the first task on the first project. Thereafter if you cancel a work order begun there are no complete refunds, none guaranteed in general, though I may refund a prorated amount if appropriate.
- Will you sign our NDA, non-compete agreement, give references, etc.?
I no longer either give, nor in general do I ask current or former clients or co-workers to give references. Exceptions can be made, especially if your policy on providing references after successfully completed projects are clear and I have had recent clients agree to provide same at project end.
For the side contracts, there are two cases. If you are a non-IT biz then the answer is a straightforward yes. I normally sign such documents in Adobe and return immediately as PDF so you get the best print quality. I don't use fax.
The other case is an IT biz with clients. In this case if you limit your purchase under this service to development work that you will rework and resell to any of your (undisclosed) clients then such agreements are generally unnecessary.
You should understand that I develop my own open source (but not free) software which is generic in purpose and not specific to any enterprise. In nearly 30 years of contract work I don't ever remember seeing an attempt to limit my ability to develop such so for this and other reasons I normally don't have a problem with such side contracts but wish to avoid them where they are unnecessary.
- What about Plesk, CPanel, Webadmin, etc.?
These admin interfaces may be appropriate for non technical personnel but unless they are used via SSL they constitute a serious security breach and can interfere with some of the services they manage. I normally remove them from any servers under my control.
- How long will my <<NaiveBigPictureGoalHere>> take?
The day jobbing service is focused on specific 1-day deliverables. The minimum time to respond to a change to a specification is 24 hours. Unless I have told you different in the initial setup, the deliverable for the day is only an increment toward your end biz goal which as noted above is subject to what processes you have or don't have in placed to achieve it. It is not hard to make clear what the delivered work product for the day task will be (normally programs, working configurations, and/or documentation) so being clear about it also enables your inspection of it prior to the decision to buy another day.
For example (real world case), say you approach me to help you establish .Net development connectivity to an Oracle server, that, with mention of versions, being the specification or big picture goal for the first day. I then create a Visual Studio project in the language of your choice and verify it's operation in the context of the specified target software which I establish and configure on your server(s). The VS project, the working program it creates which works against the specified configuration is the complete deliverable for that day (plus the standard 1 week of email support).
In this case, even though the indicated labor would often span many multiples of that consumed and paid for and the actual goal of establishing the need connectivity achieved, the naive project goal of full utilization of Oracle via .Net still requires application of substantial additional labor for which the supplied sample VS project and it's instructions only cover the actual connectivity task. Even though exemplary value has been rendered for the price paid, if the buyer slides in ir perception from the actual deliverable and task focus to their overall project goal then confusion can ensue.
This example is typical of the sort of task which is a self-contained project in itself. Most projects require more than this, but this service is intended for situations where the end deliverable can be created in one to five business days, no more.