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Who should pay for the bugs?

01-06-2013, 11:45 PM
#1
Who should pay for the bugs?

We contracted a build outside of iLifeTouch. Going well except for bugs.

Now here is a general question. At what point should the dev fix the bugs without demanding to get paid for work that was supposed to be working in the first place. We complained to the programmer but he insisted it was part of the process. This is the fourth update and I fear new bugs will appear mysteriously again.

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01-06-2013, 11:55 PM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndicated Puzzles View Post
We contracted a build outside of iLifeTouch. Going well except for bugs.

Now here is a general question. At what point should the dev fix the bugs without demanding to get paid for work that was supposed to be working in the first place. We complained to the programmer but he insisted it was part of the process. This is the fourth update and I fear new bugs will appear mysteriously again.
Bugs ARE part of the software writing process. Whether the dev has to fix them would depend on what terms you're paying them under. If you're just paying for work as you go, then more work requires more pay. I'm not really sure how else it would go with an external contractor... you cant just say you want X software which is Y percent bugfree... there's no way to quantify such a thing.

So, they do some work and you pay some amount. If there are bugs then you have to pay more to fix them. If you're unsatisfied with the quality or pace of the work, then you might want to get a new dev.

Also, you get what you pay for. Better and more expensive developers are more expensive for a reason.

Independent developer of Alien Space, Alien Space Retro, and now Annihilate

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01-07-2013, 02:54 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,497
I can't believe a developer has said that.

When someone contracts a piece of work, it is completely expected that the work is delivered fully functional and bug free. In the real world that means the dev must fix them as they are found. The best contract from the developers perspective will put a cap on how long that process can last for (a year for example) but will not get him out of doing this completely.

If you're hearing anything different, get in touch with a lawyer.
01-07-2013, 04:14 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
I can't believe a developer has said that.

When someone contracts a piece of work, it is completely expected that the work is delivered fully functional and bug free. In the real world that means the dev must fix them as they are found. The best contract from the developers perspective will put a cap on how long that process can last for (a year for example) but will not get him out of doing this completely.

If you're hearing anything different, get in touch with a lawyer.
There's no such thing as bug free. There's also no implied support period unless it was in the contract, which is why I said it depends on the terms for the work.

Even if you wanted to stand by your work and provide bug fixes for some time after you deliver the code, in the real world other programmers will inherit that code. They might be stepping all over it creating new bugs, that then might get attributed to you. How'd you like to keep getting calls by your previous employer to fix bugs which arent really yours, or your code that's broken because they broke some other code that interacts with it? How'd you like to keep doing this months after you delivered your code and now have other contract work to worry about?

When you hire a contractor you usually hire them per hour, or per day, but not per line of code or per feature. That means you pay for an hour and you get an hours worth of coding. A good dev will get more and better done, with fewer bugs, than a bad dev will. Again, that's why you pay them more. And if you're realistic in your scheduling and budgeting, then you've also planned for bugs to arise and money to pay for more dev work later.

Work = money, and only a very inexperienced developer will think that you can deliver a system fully functional and bug free on the first try. Everything needs debugging, support, and updating later in software, especially when that code doesnt live in a black box.

Independent developer of Alien Space, Alien Space Retro, and now Annihilate

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01-07-2013, 06:07 AM
#5
Pay some

I would pay, him 10% of the money and then offer him milestones for a bug free version and then only on a final fully working version pay him the last amount, but the last amount should be at least 30% of the project fee. Or use an escrow system.

It is and has always been the developer (programmers) responsibility to fix bugs even 6 months to a year after the delivery date. Ask him if he purchased something from a shop and it broke in two days would he take it back?

a small point, but i will say it none the less, a developer that lets bugs out of the door then says its part of the process is not a very good developer. I have been making games for 35 years and if i had his attitude my career would have only lasted a few months.

Game development blog luckyredfish.com
01-07-2013, 07:09 AM
#7
There are different sort of contracts

If the contract is for time and materials, as I assume it is. Then its perfectly reasonable for the developer to expect to be paid for bug fixes.

Four updates for bug fixes does sound a little strange. Is the developer delivering each update as if its finished or are they just releases based on time ie. weekly?

I take it that the requirements have been fixed for some time. Or have you been taking the opportunity of the ongoing development to make some improvements to the app?

Matthew

My iOS games: JiggleSaw
My Blog: JiggleSaw development
01-07-2013, 02:26 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHille View Post
If the contract is for time and materials, as I assume it is. Then its perfectly reasonable for the developer to expect to be paid for bug fixes.
This. Everybody who thinks bug fixes after delivery are always included without extra payment no matter the contract is resorting to wishful thinking. I know for a fact that a lot of companies make a lot of money with those kind of support contracts that guarantee bug fixes. Same goes for development, if it's T&M then if it takes longer, then it costs more.

It all depends on the contract.
01-07-2013, 02:50 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bramblett05 View Post
So does that mean after the contract is up he/she has a choice to continue to update their games with bug fixes if any?
That's a different question, we were talking contract work.
01-07-2013, 02:51 PM
#10
If you're in the position of hiring a programmer and want them to support their code and fix possible bugs later without charge, then you need to put that in the contract. If you're just paying them to work X hours then that's what you get... X hours worth of work.

This is not difficult, it's just business 101. You hire for a service, put the details in the contract, and then you get that service and pay what you promised. If you dont think the other person completed their part of the contract then you can take them to court.

Independent developer of Alien Space, Alien Space Retro, and now Annihilate

For more information and latest updates, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlienSpaceGame