Questions for professional programmers who are often contracted out for various positions rather than being part of a company.

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32
votes
7answers
3k views

Who should pay for fixes/bugs? [closed]

So I just started freelancing both in desktop/web development and this client who already accepted my work, and payed me keeps coming back at me each time he finds a bug etc. And I have found myself ...
22
votes
10answers
7k views

Hand over source code to customer

I have made a couple iphone applications for a customer and was asked today to hand over the source code so that they could do the maintenance if this should be required. Until now, no code issues ...
59
votes
6answers
59k views

How should I determine my rates for writing custom software? [closed]

For a custom software that will likely take a year or more to develop, how would I go about determining what to charge as a consultant? I'm having a hard time coming up with a number, and searches ...
119
votes
18answers
22k views

How should I charge for programming things which take two minutes to fix? [closed]

I am really confused with this. I believe that the more I am getting experience, the more I am becoming an expert at finding mistakes and fixing them quickly. Now my boss got website from a ...
23
votes
4answers
15k views

How do freelancer web developers manage web hosting for customers?

I have built a number of websites for friends, family, etc. and I have put them all on a single shared web hosting account. Now that they are built, I want to get out of business of supporting them ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Are missed deadlines common in programming jobs? [closed]

It was my freelancer job at oDesk. I have done several jobs earlier in given time, but is was the first time I missed the deadline. It was a very lengthy job and I tried my best but I still missed the ...
8
votes
8answers
698 views

Is it reasonable to NOT provide technical documentation and unit tests to client?

As an independent vendor being contracted to write a product for a company, is it reasonable to ship only the source code and user documentation while leaving out design documents, architecture ...
384
votes
21answers
90k views

My customer wants me to record a video of how I develop his software product

Working as a freelancer, I often see strange requests from my customers, some of which can negatively affect my daily work¹, and others trying to set some sort of control. I usually encounter those ...
61
votes
28answers
80k views

Why are more programmers not freelance these days? [closed]

Leaving the whole pie to only a few of them, amplifying the huge differences between the two status. Pay is a (huge) one, not having to do overtime is another. I leave the question open to hopefully ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Freelancers: How Do You Go About Gathering Requirements?

As a freelance programmer: What is your process for gathering requirements from a client? How much time does the requirement gathering process take you? I know this is not fixed, and there are ...
29
votes
17answers
4k views

A client wants us to screen work machines for pornography. Is it possible?

A long-time client has asked us to help screen their work machines for pornography. They're worried about liability if sensitive materials were found. Their main concerns (for obvious reasons) are ...
6
votes
1answer
827 views

Typical agreements for freelance development? [closed]

I am just starting out my programming career and I have a chance to bid on a freelance job. I have looked over the specifications for the app and believe I am capable of meeting the requirements ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Freelancer.com—Any opinions? [closed]

Has anyone ever tried Freelancer.com (former GetAFreelancer.com)? Does anyone have any opinions/feedback on the site? I would like to start some projects as a freelancer but I would really like to ...
13
votes
9answers
576 views

Are there any arguments that can make a contractor reconsider working on fixed price?

I've been working for a contractor who brings in some good projects, but they are all fixed-price and often fixed-time. As a result he always has me making a quote over loose requirements, which ...
32
votes
10answers
3k views

Contractor - Acceptable Payment Terms?

I'm wondering whether or not I've done the right thing as a contractor. Basically I'm in to my 3rd month, and my current client messed up the payment in the first month, and I just found out that they ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I continue to perform freelance work for customers who keep on demanding more without paying? [closed]

So a client comes to me and says it needs some work done. Basically 4 tasks, which I agreed to perform for a certain price. The customer creates the job offer (a fixed time and price job) on ODesk, I ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Statistics on time estimates for web application

I have been asked to help estimate the time it would take to develop a web application. I will not be involved in the actual programming, but I am participating as an "experienced" programmer. The ...
34
votes
13answers
3k views

“Kill switch” in customer hosted environments, to protect payment?

I have a difficult client. Every bill is argued and debated over, and each email is parsed with a lawyers eye (because he's a lawyer), looking for a way to avoid paying for something. No amount of ...
18
votes
11answers
2k views

Company wants thoughts about their site during interview [closed]

I have an initial phone interview coming up with a company for a Senior Web Developer position and in the email they asked to prepare by signing up on their site because they'd like to hear my ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Freelancing - Share the source code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hand over source code to customer I have developed a couple of form based windows application in vb.net for a client and they all work well and he paid me through a ...
7
votes
3answers
854 views

Should the gating question in hiring a web developer be “Have you by yourself, or with one or two partners, ever brought a product to market?” [closed]

I've just met a guy, an engineer but a software naif, who's designed, produced, and is now selling a very nice product, a backyard zip line. He devised a new braking system for the thing and has a ...
6
votes
2answers
952 views

Is it okay to add time for “unexpected delays” to a time estimate?

I've landed my first contract (hooray, self employment!) and the company is asking for time estimates. Programmers are notoriously bad at time estimates, and I know I've been laughably wrong before....
4
votes
4answers
472 views

Reasonable test coverage requirements when dealing with a contractor?

We're outsourcing some work to an external developer, so I'm busy writing up a contract about what constitutes a deliverable. So far I require that the code is shipped with automated tests. But, ...
0
votes
2answers
855 views

Protect freelance work

I have developed some PHP and HTML code for a freelance project, I want to make my contractor able to use my code commercially, since they will sell my project to their own client (an enterprise), but ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I reuse generic code for consulting between companies?

I am employed full time for company X and approached by company Y to do consulting services to write embedded C for them. While I know the basics of conflicts of interests and the big no-no's of ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Terminating a freelance contract before completion [closed]

I've been building a large web application for a company. Initially the project owner appointed a Graphic/Web designer to complete all design/front end works. Me and who ever I bring in to complete ...
5
votes
1answer
390 views

Who is responsible for doing a patent search?

If a client requests that a particular feature is added into their website software, who is responsible for searching and recognising that a patent royalty has to paid? client web developer This ...