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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Question Unanswered: What's the Time/Cost of setting up a DB


    I'm undertaking the development of a database for lichen data (incl. UTM coordinates, species variety, abundance, tree species, etc.) I'm curious how long a 'relational' DB would take to set up for a number of study areas. Some data are already available, but not for all areas.

    How much would one charge ($ U.S.) to do this sort of thing?

    New to developing---info much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    wow, that's a wide open question that attempting to give you a simple price for would be unfair to you and to the people paying for the work

    but maybe a couple of things to help get you started:

    1. are you writing this database as an employee of the company and want to know the costs to hire someone?

    2. are you going to write this and want to know how much to charge your client?

    a database can cost a few hundred dollars or several thousand or a million dollars

    the first step is to write out all the things the database should be able to do - all the features - the bells and whistles

    once you have that, then you can break each feature down and determine how much time and development it would take to make that one feature work properly

    for example, you can make a table in Access to save tree and lichen data in a short amount of time - just go into the tables tab and click on the design button to create a new table

    but the real value of making that table to store the data is figuring out the best way to save each piece of data so you can:

    1. find it easily
    2. not have it show up as duplicates anyplace else
    3. make it easy to add, edit or delete

    if it were me, I would probably start this way:

    write out all the features you want. then do a search on the web for similar databases

    since this is a scientific database, I would maybe search for lesson plans from college courses on the web that are geared to biological sciences, for example

    for example, you may find an entire web site where an instructor has an example of how to capture scientific data into a database and then create reports on it

    I'm sure what you want to do is already out there - it may be a good approach to not do this from scratch, or at least seek some help

    if you are trying to build this from scratch and have to also learn to program or design a database at the same time, be cautious of two very important points:

    1. don't get in over your head
    2. don't underquote the time and/or money needed to complete the job

    most new developers seriously underestimate how long something takes to complete

    you may say - I can do this in 10 hours. well the reality is you could probably double or triple that time and it still take longer. I once heard that you take your best estimate of time, materials and money to complete a job - then double everything and then add 30% for unexpected things that can go wrong

    I remember once thinking I could write a database for about $1200; but then after doing the numbers over and over, I decided to double the price and went to the client for $2500. guess what - the client thought the $2500 was completely reasonable (and even after that it took me another 25% more of my billable time to complete the work)

    thank goodness I didn't charge only $1200 as I would have really felt bad and not wanted to finish it up in the long run

    my final point here: as far as what to charge per hour, I run into people who charge $20/hour, others $50/hour, others at $200/hour and everything else in between

    the hourly rate is determined by the skill level, the geographic area, the marketplace (how hard is it to find programmers who do this work), and also determined by competing bids

    there are several web sites dedicated to programmers and consultants and career guidance that report salaries for different types of work

    you may want to research to see what other people charge for similar work

    hope this helps a bit
    Last edited by JoeG; 11-25-04 at 00:55.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Thanks much joe!

    This helps a great deal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Yea, great advice. I have recently been thinking of starting some freelance work but the fact that I only really know MS Access has put me off a bit. Does anyone know whether there is much freelance Access specific around in England, preferably the South East, alternatively, does anyone know of some good websites where I could find out more information, I have looked but can only find agencies that want me to sign up and pay a monthly fee in return for letting me look at advertisments!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    Provided Answers: 59
    If the agency is charging you to view to view their adverts then avoid 'em likle the plague. Sounds like scamsters to me. if their are an ethical agency (and lets face it that'd be a first in the computer recruitment field) they won't charge. They stiff the customer for around 75..100% of the rate they agree with you. Any problems with the contract come of your rate not theirs.
    Note that I'm at all bitter, warped or twisted.

    If your CV is good enough, and there is a fair bit of competition out there for VB/VBA then send it to several agencies. Rule one in dealing with agencies is they lie, so get you CV with a few (not thousands) but a fgew and keep chasing them.

    Look at, lots of others out there who want competant IT people. The trouble is Access is not that hot these days, a large number of company's seem to be moving to ASP.NET, C# & JAVA.

    As regards rates in North West England rates are between 15 and 30 per hour, but bear in mind that's gross gross, you have to pay employers NI, aswell as your own employees NI, Tax on that, agency handling fees of around 10 to 40 pcm to make the deductions, Oh and remember to factor in a delay between your work and receiving payment, anywhere between 2..3 weeks and 2..3 months depending how many people there are between you and the actual customer and how prompt the customer is to pay there bills. Some finance departments like to sit on such bills for 1 or 2 months just for the heck of it.

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