Friday, August 22, 2014

Another development model?

Was laying around thinking to myself about why I feel uncomfortable at software companies, and started fantasizing about other ways to get paid to code, like that emphasize the value of your code. After a while I thought to myself: why not just blab about it in public? I do have a blog.

So here is some of that fantasy where the start is an End User License Agreement aka EULA that allows you to have people take use of your code ahead of payment in order to see if they want it. If they want it then they'd be expected to pay up otherwise you would assume they would voluntarily delete the code from their system, without checking.

That is, say this app existed. Some people go on the web, buy it without paying anything, and then can use the application for as long as they wish while they evaluate it. And you don't bug them. If they determine it is quality then they should hit a button and get charged. Otherwise you assume they will voluntarily delete off their system. And you will not bug them to make sure either.

That is going with concepts I call PBV for Pay Back Value which assumes people will tend to buy things once they see quality so you let them see it first and trust them.

Part of the fantasy is that the PBV EULA would cut down on litigation costs as you can say users had ample opportunity to fully comprehend what the app does and does not do, so how sue? (People will figure out a way though I guess.) Oh yeah, and would eliminate return costs.

Ok, with the PBV EULA imagine a coding project where developers build a software application and sell it, where each coder gets a percentage of sales based on how often their code is actually used when users are running the app.

So in this fantasy scenario, built into the application is a method for tallying when code lines are actually used by people doing things with the application and maybe it uploads a report monthly or something and on that basis, coders get paid a percentage. Like if your blocks of code are used 40% of the time, you get something around 40% though maybe a little less, as like maybe 5% is administrative, so you might get 40% of 90% assuming 10% other costs including administrative. And next month it might be 33% as other code is introduced or for some mysterious reason people are less heavily using features you coded.

So it would be a merit system: coders who code the most heavily used features would get paid the most.

And it could be an open source project as well. That could let people come into some project, maybe with some big ideas, code something really cool and get paid. And then get on with their lives without contracts, and coming to some freaking office. Or signing anything other than a minimal contractor agreement agreeing to the terms outlined above.

That's my fantasy.

Actually making it into reality would involve lawyers willing to write up the EULA. That's a major big deal as would be nice if someone would do it pro bono, as in free. For the industry.

Then you'd need some run metric on code blocks--oh and that idea is open source and now I wonder do any companies do it?

Seems like a fun idea to me: see what code of your developers is actually the workhorse in an application and pay them accordingly.

That would reward the best coders, reward the best features, and not reward the people who put in crazy wild stuff that simply confuses end users so much they never use the junk.

Ok, beginning to rant a bit, which means I should stop now. Just speculating. Things I do. I like to dream and speculate and wonder about things. And then I can share if I wish. As you see, it's my blog.

James Harris
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