Need to convince a client to go with Rails instead of ASP.NE

Hi All,

I’m having a bit of a problem. I have a client that will simply not
get off their ASP kick. They have an existing infrastructure using
ASP.NET and, oddly enough, MySQL. They don’t know why, but they are
insistent on developing their latest “Insurance Tracking” item in ASP
as well. Not only that, the deadline for this project is literally 2
weeks (starting next Monday). They are paying very well, but I can’t
get them to understand that 1) This isn’t an issue you can simply
throw money at and 2) RoR is much better suited for agile, short-term
modeling.

Any ideas?

Regards

gberz3 wrote the following on 14.08.2007 05:22 :

modeling.

Any ideas?

Usually with politics you have to be a politician… If they want
ASP.net and you know there’s now way to succeed with it, refuse the
contract (if you can afford to, if not you are screwed anyway) making
sure all the important decision makers know why. In the meantime prepare
your comeback by identifying the people open-minded enough to understand
that you are trustworthy and that if they want to succeed, they better
work with you.

When they fail to meet their objectives, you’ll have to enter diplomatic
landscape, leveraging your trustworthiness with the right people while
not rubbing the nose of others in their incompetence (they should know
better than argue with you, let them alone, some of them can learn to
trust you through this experience).

In some contextes, you won’t be able to get the client back, you have to
decide if it’s an acceptable risk. Some clients can even drive
themselves into bankrupty with a succession of bad technical decisions,
usually you better jump of the ship before the bills get unpaid…

Good luck, this is the “not so enjoyable part” of the job.

Lionel

Lionel,

Thanks. That makes perfect sense. The situation is basically that
there’s a job they felt they could do, but failed. Now it’s crunch
time and they have NOWHERE to turn. It’s a really tempting spot as
they are willing to pay over 1/3 a year’s wages for a 2-week project.
And they’re willing to move that up slightly if need be. But I simply
feel it cannot be done. Not in 2 weeks. And they don’t seem to
understand that $$$ is not the issue.

I definitely appreciate your insights. I’ll take this into
consideration and see what I can come up with.

Regards,
Michael

On Aug 14, 6:51 am, Lionel B. [email protected]

On Aug 13, 2007, at 9:22 PM, gberz3 wrote:

Not only that, the deadline for this project is literally 2
weeks (starting next Monday). They are paying very well, but I can’t
get them to understand that 1) This isn’t an issue you can simply
throw money at and 2) RoR is much better suited for agile, short-term
modeling.

If you’re certain you can do it better and faster in Rails, give them
two different bids. X for Rails, 2X for asp.net.
Then they will start asking you questions instead of the other way
around.

On Aug 14, 10:30 am, gberz3 [email protected] wrote:

Lionel,

Thanks. That makes perfect sense. The situation is basically that
there’s a job they felt they could do, but failed. Now it’s crunch
time and they have NOWHERE to turn. It’s a really tempting spot as
they are willing to pay over 1/3 a year’s wages for a 2-week project.
And they’re willing to move that up slightly if need be. But I simply
feel it cannot be done. Not in 2 weeks. And they don’t seem to
understand that $$$ is not the issue.

“Observe that for the programmer, as for the chef, the urgency of the
patron may govern the scheduled completion of the task, but it cannot
govern the actual completion. An omelette, promised in two minutes,
may appear to be progressing nicely. But when it has not set in two
minutes, the customer has two choices–wait or eat it raw. Software
customers have had the same choices.”

“The cook has another choice; he can turn up the heat. The result is
often an omelette nothing can save–burned in one part, raw in
another. [page 21]”

Frederick Brooks, The Mythical Man Month
from http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs1104/HLL/Brooks.html

Forcing a platform is never a good idea.

It seems that they already have a Windows IT staff to support existing
applications. It’s very understandable why they would be reluctant not
just go with a different framework but with a different platform all
together. Is there anyone who can support it there? What will they do
when you aren’t available? Those are all the questions that matter to
every business.

If they do agree and you drop the ball or they aren’t for some reason
happy, it will come back twice as hard to you and you will be known at
that company as “that fucking rails guy”.

On the side note, I used to write ASP.NET for 4 years… it’s really
not that hard :slight_smile:

I would recommend not pursuing this further and keep a good
relationship. You can always get the next job.

– Alex