Often this is because they see securing specialist developers as one of the early steps in their plan, so they can then sell the plan to their investors or clients.
I fell for this several times in recent months, then found myself chasing after them with follow-up emails, which they didn't respond to, before they finally reply with things like "our funding didn't come through" or "we're still waiting for our client to come back to us etc.".
I've since learned to just ask up front if they have all those resources in place, mentioning the frustrations I've had in the past.
The other day, however, I got a client inquiry, with a wonderful Austrian firm, and I just said "yeah that sounds great, I'm into it" adding how I was frustrated with previous flaky meetings and how refreshingly organized these people were.
They laughed and said "we hear you! Yes we have resources, don't worry, we're solid on this" (they were a software development studio, so they had these experiences too).
I use that as my benchmark. If a client doesn't have that forthcoming attitude and understanding then I bypass them and use the time/ energy hustling to get the next client. We should expect an understanding answer straight up, to those delicate questions, and if it offends them, that's a red flag.
I'm looking forward to giving this lot a quality product.
I've had a few meetings this year with people who, though they appear interested, are not really interested in hiring me, but wanted to discuss the technical problems they're facing while developing their product. I had one guy with whom I had three of these meetings, a very friendly dude indeed.
These are just information mining exercises, and I've fallen for it a few times. I could hear them go quiet, then hear that scribbling sound while they take notes. But I'm pretty wise to that now.
The good thing is that I also took notes, on what their requirements were, and recently realized that, hey I could develop a generic solution, with help from a couple of friends, right now, that I could sell as a licensed product, that to be honest, would be better than what they're planning.
I remember my first interview, for a holiday internship when I was a student. A couple of guys who'd just had lunch (and probably a couple of beers by the looks of it). It was like "um..." (looking at each other) "what do you, ah, like best in computing?" (eyes glazing over). I got all amped and replied a whole bunch about certain algorithms I though were beautiful etc, and they sort of look a little worried, eyes widening a little bit, because now they have to show some sort of engagement. When it came to my questions, as seats were being pushed back from the table, about things like their process, what work they were doing, they struggled to come up with answers (they didn't expect a student to actually have any questions).
Two good friends of mine got those internships, and spent the whole time alone, teaching themselves C++, with nobody actually giving them any work to do, it was a bit awkward apparently!
Expect people to respect your time. If they don't, it's a red flag.
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