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

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4
votes
3answers
169 views

Best way to approach a partner business to understand the need for B2B web-services

We currently work with a company that has a fairly simplistic web system for processing warranty information. The only way to get data out of it is through excel exporting. Compilation of this data ...
4
votes
2answers
239 views

Is blogging a good platform to get into freelancing from a completely unrelated job?

Quick background - I work in a bank doing financial modelling where I need to do some domain specific programming, but otherwise it's only statistics and presentations. Situation - Software has ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Should I charge a client for mistakes that I made?

After developing a website for a client, I've realized that the load time is too extreme, and some changes need to be made. The extreme load times are attributed to the bloated css/js frameworks that ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What to do with bad source code? [duplicate]

I have been contracted to modify an application for a software company and the source code is quite frankly, a mess. It's not commented much and the author is inconsistent with coding conventions. The ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

What recommendations can you give in managing a team of remote software engineers? [duplicate]

I am a Web application developer who also is responsible for project managing some projects, I sometimes have to manage remote developers, who work for me under a contract basis. I feel that sometimes ...
4
votes
2answers
265 views

Sharing ideas without risk of leaking [closed]

As freelancers, we meet somewhere and chat about a new idea for a project, brainstorm etc. Up to this point, we have taken notes of the ideas, but we would like to be able to share more efficiently ...
36
votes
9answers
2k views

How do you price your work?

Well, let me explain : This has really been an issue for me, for such a long time. And what is worse - since coding is something I simply ADORE (I would definitely do it, even if there was no payment ...
3
votes
8answers
2k views

Should I pay my developers for bugs fixes for a project or work that's still in progress?

We are working with a group of developers on a project. The project is still in progress (not completed) and these developers charge us for time spent on fixing bugs on codes that were not written ...
0
votes
2answers
510 views

IT Consulting from US and German VAT Tax [closed]

I'm an independent IT consultant in the US, and I just completed some work for a German company, all done remotely from the US. I've sent them an invoice, but they are now asking if I have a VAT ...
3
votes
5answers
344 views

When working with contractors/interns how protective should one be of your codebase?

We're considering hiring a contractor or intern to work with us on our iOS project but this causes me to get really paranoid that we're giving somebody who doesn't work for the company access to our ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Am I deluding myself? Business analyst transition to programmer

Current job: Working as the lead business analyst for a Big 4 firm, leading a team of developers and testers working on a large scale re-platforming project (4 onshore dev, 4 offshore devs, several ...
3
votes
1answer
403 views

How to sell my work?

I'm a freelancer, a company I'm working with (which has a government as customer) asked me to write an app (web-based and/or system) to allow them archiving documents, and making them downloadable by ...
18
votes
11answers
2k views

Company wants thoughts about their site during interview

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
6answers
1k views

Should a contract programmer have a portfolio?

I realize that the more you go towards the spectrum of "freelance", there is a need for a portfolio (at least for web development) but I would think that a structured contracted job (like a 3 month ...
3
votes
4answers
740 views

How does someone with a business degree become a software consultant?

I'm a 4th year computer engineering student from a reputable university in Toronto and i'm curious as to how some of these software consulting positions with the large firms (Accenture, Deloitte, IBM, ...
2
votes
5answers
327 views

Copyright question about building a similar app

A client wants me to build a Wordpress plugin similar to an app on Windows Phones. Although the app that I will build will be different in many ways (such as the UI, logos, graphics and a couple of ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a software maintenance retainer contract?

I'm a one man software start up and need to consider a software maintenance retainer contract for a client. What is this, in simple terms? How could it benefit me or my client?
7
votes
7answers
773 views

When does freelancing become a start-up?

In one of my previous question in this Q&A site, someone suggested me that freelancing is not for everyone. I gave a thought over it and came to a conclusion that it is correct. While it may be a ...
2
votes
3answers
348 views

Scope of work contents in freelance development

One of my clients demanded to append screen shots of UI in the SOW. Also, I was asked to give a workflow diagram for the same. The project I am about to take is relatively small and my question is, ...
4
votes
5answers
460 views

What to charge for a ready-built piece of software?

Recently I was contacted by someone interested buying a piece of software that I wrote to automate a process. The 'client' knows little about the program, except what it outputs and how easy it is to ...
0
votes
1answer
266 views

My potential customer has a very bad written English. Is that a red flag? [closed]

I am trying to start a freelancing career on oDesk. One of the potential employers offered me somewhat of a dream job: it's game development for an established company. The pay seems to be right ...
3
votes
3answers
665 views

Should I ask for advance payment on custom work? [closed]

...for project-based work. So far I didn't, and always got paid when work was complete and didn't ran into any problems. Does this make me look unprofessional? :) Should I ask like 25% - 50% advance ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

How much to each part?

I have been involved in a project and now it is coming to an end. The good news is the company will start to commercialize the software which is specific software to ISPs. As a programmer / developer ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Can a freelancer use agile development?

I want to improve the way that I develop software. I want to develop faster and a great code! Today I use the waterfall method as freelancer, writing web stuffs (sites, systems, etc). Is there a way ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

What is a good one-stop-shop for understanding software licensing information? [closed]

I've learned a fair amount about the various different software licensing models and what those models mean for my own software project. However, I'd like to make sure I understand as many of them as ...
3
votes
4answers
479 views

How do software development methodologies fit in the field of consulting?

I work for a fairly small consulting company, roughly 100 employees, and I've been with them for about a year currently. This is my first job out of college. As a company we do not specialize in any ...
6
votes
11answers
5k views

What is a good time/task tracking software to use when consulting? [closed]

I am looking for time tracking software to use as an individual consulting on multiple projects at once. The projects I work on are billable to different clients. Some clients are billed on an ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Charging for a project where you retain the IP for the end product

I have read up on quite a few of these questions asked on here regarding "how much should I charge for..." such as: How should I charge for programming things which take two minutes to fix? How much ...
6
votes
3answers
466 views

How to test code and functionality effectively while working as a freelancer?

I work as an independent developer. I find it difficult to test functionality of a feature and test code. As project goes complex, I loose focus resulting in each feature partially developed. I want ...
14
votes
7answers
686 views

How should I describe the process of learning someone else's code? (In an invoicing situation.)

Edit: Justin Cave made a good point that this sort of communication should be up front in my quoting / estimations. Is this case, I'm still interested to know what sort of language people use to ...
5
votes
8answers
270 views

How to provide value? [closed]

Before I became a consultant all I cared about was becoming a highly skilled programmer. Now I believe that what my clients need is not a great hacker, coder, architect... or whatever. I am more and ...
42
votes
28answers
17k 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
579 views

How to explain to a layperson the variance in programmer rates?

I recently talked to a guy that is looking for developers to build a product idea. He mentioned he has received interest from people but the rates have varied from $20-120/hr. This project he ...
-1
votes
1answer
177 views

Protecting your interests as a freelance web designer

What is the best way to protect your interests as a freelance web designer when: The client is unresponsive and takes a long time to make decisions The client makes constant changes Feature creep
6
votes
5answers
254 views

How do I pick which agency to go through? [closed]

I work in a town where the majority of work comes from the government. As a contractor, I generally have to apply for work through agencies which are on the government's preferred vendor's list. Most ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

How do I keep an eye on a remote freelancer? [closed]

I've been hiring several developers from different places around the world. It all goes well, but I see that some of them are abusing my polite overlooking too much lately. They are all hired for a ...
15
votes
4answers
568 views

What modes of profit are open to programmers? [closed]

This is an important question because "apply for a job/internship" isn't a solution for everyone especially during economic stress periods when constant rejection can push good programmers into ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Best industry to work for as a developer [closed]

My contract has just ended and I'm wondering what possible jobs I might want to look at next. I've worked in banking and insurance industry for all my career (including one Fortune 500 company) and ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How Do You Determine Your Hourly Rate? [closed]

In pricing a service or product it is general practice to not merely charge for the effort spent and the costs involved + margin but from the value delivered down. As an independent consultant, how do ...
10
votes
6answers
629 views

How to capitalize maximally on location-independence … my personal #1-incentive for working as a developer [closed]

To me the ultimate beauty in working as a developer is the fact that given a nice CV, your are going to find a new job, everywhere at any time. So I would like to ask if somebody here as experience ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the preconditions to get an experienced developer from working as a freelancer to owning a small software company? [closed]

I've been a software developer for 8 years. I've worked on about 20 projects, some smaller, some bigger. I know how to help myself by using google magic, msdn, youttube, tutorials, how-to's etc. I'm ...
3
votes
7answers
537 views

Does taking a series of contracts hurt your career?

So I've been contracting for 6-7 months now. The problem I have is that I take a contract while looking for work and then don't want to bail on the people working in my contract. Then when the ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Employee vs Contractor mentality and career [closed]

I'm trying to work something out which isn't quite covered in any of the other "contractor vs employee" threads. In a nutshell: Is there a natural (possibly even hard-wired and inborn) tendency for ...
3
votes
2answers
581 views

How to write freelancing in resume for programmers job

I had 3 years full time work experience in web development. I had to leave the job and come to overseas (my home) for 1.5 years due to personal problem, but I did some free lance work in web ...
4
votes
2answers
955 views

Starting small custom development company, type of niches to target?

This is kind of a new years thing for me as I want to be more entrepreneurial going forward with programming and this is kind of a general question for anyone who may share the same ambitions as me. I ...
4
votes
1answer
445 views

How to find extra work outside of full time job? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you work contract projects in addition to your full-time job? I currently work as a C++ developer full time (not a contract). I'm seeking extra opportunities outside ...
12
votes
7answers
7k views

What to learn to become freelancer? [closed]

I have around 8 years experience in software development. I have worked on application development all these years using C++ /win32. I few years from now I want to become a freelancer . I tried to ...
16
votes
4answers
465 views

Where do I begin when dealing with my first corporate client?

I recently developed a desktop client that automates much of the work involved during online research. I developed this tool in 2-3 hours, and it has reduced an hour's worth of work to about 5 ...
6
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
991 views

Client will not pay after software project is complete [closed]

I've recently left university and this was one of my first freelance projects - the first one to become a nightmare. The project was to build a highly custom e-commerce system for a restaurant. ...