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What do professional database developers do?

The going rate for database development ranges from about $50 to over $200 per hour. A representative average for an independent consultant would be $75 - $150 per hour. The actual rate usually increases with the experience of the developer and the complexity of the work that has to be done -- an of course, location. A contract can sometimes be drawn up at a total fixed amount for the database development project, but is rather more usually done instead with charges by the hours worked. This is consistent with paying as you go and reflects the complex nature of database development. It is best accompanied with frequent progress and status reporting to the customer.

The very first step is to create a specification. This describes the development project in detail. It may take many hours just to precisely define what is to be done. Many customers cannot, at first anyway, appreciate the amount of time that they will have to devote to their project with the developer. These discussions pay off later. You will get exactly what you want only by spelling it out in detail. Development projects are most usually completed in stages. A staged project will mean that you will be asked to review and test the program in detail three, four or five times as it is being completed. This assures that the project stays right on course and will be a very usable program when completed.

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There are many contract items to consider. What about technical support after the database is up and running? What about confidentiality of the customerís data? What about bugs that are found later on? Who owns the code that is used? Will the program possibly be sold to other businesses or competitors? Should you build in contingency hours for unforeseen complications or opportunities?

         
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