communication with a non technical owner

Small requirements told by a non technical owner.
Entire plan: all the customers are socially networked and website makes money but I do not know the entire technical plan.
Even if I did, there would be no design pattern that i could implement due to my skill level.
And owner does not fully understand because milestones change when deliverables are tested.
So I ask questions to experts-exchange solving the problem piece by piece and the owner is happy because all the owners milestones are being finished.

Owner and I are in same room and owner becomes curious of what I am doing as I wait for experts-exchange to create code sample that I copy and paste without fully understanding working parts of code.
I could communicate to owner that I should work at home charging less hours but this does not fit owners schedule because not every day is coding day for owner.
I could communicate to owner that my answers are copy pasted from experts-exchange but then owner may not be satisfied with hiring me.
During the waiting period, I ask for more milestones and more projects because these projects may be interconnected.
Sometimes there is only one project with no code being created in hours.
So three hours later, I am still waiting for experts-exchange with no change to show owner.
How do I get more time without saying, 'I am waiting for experts-exchange'?
Who is Participating?
Ray PaseurCommented:
Refactor, refactor, refactor.  It's the only way I stay legit!
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
lol very creative way of doing  a coding job. But sooner or later it will lead to a desaster. Your code will become a wild grown monster nobody understandy anymore later. e.g. if some necessary bugfixing/security fixing is neccessary.
As then its very liely that ee will not be able to give solutions as they dont have complete overview of the code.

How to communicate this to your boss without beeing fired? I dont know.
Ray PaseurCommented:
I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing ideas among professional colleagues, and when the colleagues are spread around the globe it sometimes takes a while to engage in the back-and-forth you need to get a range of ideas and form a good solution.  Most of the time, knowing how to ask the question is the most important part of getting the right answer.

"This is a good question and I want to be sure we are using the best design patterns, so I'm asking other experts to weigh in.  While we are waiting for my professional colleagues to respond, I'll use the 'down time' to research some other topics that will be helpful for our project."

FWIW, I usually spend half the day researching solutions and trying different approaches.  The other half is spent keeping up with friends on FB, chatting on Slack and writing code.
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Ray PaseurCommented:
@andreas: :-)
It is clear you do not have the skills to do this job. I think you need to be honest with your owner and maybe suggest that you pair with someone more experienced.

Admitting that you cannot do something is not defeat. I have been in a similar situation before where I've told my manager that I have zero knowledge of this area and I need to work with someone to do this.

If your boss doesn't appreciate you coming forward with this, then maybe you should seek another job that you feel more comfortable in. Don't leave it too late or you definately will get sacked.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
@Ray: Exactly matches my image in my head regarding the code resulting in this way of "programming".
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
You could outsource your job.
Assuming you now make $25+/hour, hire a programmer from India, China etc that works for $10/hour and bingo: no more waiting times.

And you could use the spare time to enhance your IT or business skills.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
Actually outsourcing was what he was doing aleady ;) He just sourced it out to experts exchange ;)

The india outsource will also not go undetected by his boss.
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
There is a difference. Even if the pays, we're not getting any payment so he can't complain :)
He basically has to wait until someone is bored enough to answer his questions.

Hiring a developer means he's he boss and the employee has to work for him, bored or not :)
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
You don't have to always know exactly how you are going to do things.  The most important thing you can do is interpret what the own wants and have somewhat of an understanding of how that will work and dove tail into anything else you have done.  Then when you are stuck on something, you get peer help.  There is nothing wrong with that scenario, many people do it and that is why this site exists.  

How you convey that to the person that hired you is something else.   As a freelancer, I would only spend time with the owner for your milestone meetings.  Otherwise, if you are doing exactly what the owner wants on the spot and don't feel comfortable working on multiple items at one time it is an inefficient use of time.  I ask questions here myself when I know somebody else will have a better way of doing things.  But I don't stop working, I just move on to another piece of the puzzle or work on another puzzle.  

Set your contracts up by your milestones, meet with the owner only at those times or if you choose to work at their office, they must understand you work on multiple items at a time and as long as you meet your milestones in a timely matter and get paid at each milestone, all should be good.  

The key to your answer is your relationship with the person that is paying you.
rgb192Author Commented:

Could it be him?

9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos

11:30 a.m. – Take lunch

1:00 p.m. – Ebay time

2:00-ish p.m – Facebook updates, LinkedIn

4:30 p.m. – End-of-day update e-mail to management

5:00 p.m. – Go home

not me and this example was not researched because
Whoever made this schedule thinks that the contractors were reliable and that there were no quick turnaround requirements during the day.
Workers I hired disappeared days or weeks due to a rainstorm.

funny video

code will become a wild grown monster
Big MontySenior Web Developer / CEO of Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 125 points for Ray Paseur's comment #a40732299
Assisted answer: 125 points for Scott Fell's comment #a40735742
Assisted answer: 125 points for andreas's comment #a40732295
Assisted answer: 125 points for gurpsbassi's comment #a40732305

for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
rgb192Author Commented:
Best answer

Refactor, refactor, refactor.  It's the only way I stay legit!

because code I use first is usually very bad

thanks all
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