Working for free is always a bad idea
As you might know (or not) besides of Software Development I’m also passionate about photography. You can check my Instagram and website if you want. But this post is about my experience in “free freelancing” in both industries.
In software it was waaaay back when I was back in Poland and I had no experience whatsoever. I’ve done few websites “for portfolio”. It was fine. Scope we discussed was done. Problem starts when free job starts to need to be supported with more work.
As with my experience in both industries people will always want more than you’ve agreed on. And it’s not that much about making things for free as making it without “paper” which says what is the scope of contract or agreement.
What I see now is that expectations if not defined are always way bigger than what was told at the beginning. And you, as person doing the job, will always be the bad guy who is doing bad job not delivering.
And I’m not saying it’s good to not deliver. It’s good to deliver more than expected. For sake of having a happy client it’s needed. But when you don’t have specified what really is “the job” you can’t say you’ve done what you were asked for. And trust me, even when you all you were asked for there will be more.
And I know I’m maybe bitching about stuff but tbh I have only 24 hours a day and IMO when I want and I’m spending time doing something for you I’m expecting at least gratitude that I’m doing it and some understanding when we don’t have strict rule on either side and any of us can be caught in more or less relevant to “the job” stuff which can make delays in delivery.
This is what happened recently and as I follow the rule of failing fast my solution is to do things always with written rules. It can be for free if l like it. But with written delivery size and time. Just to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.