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

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19
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
553 views

Open Source Friendly IP Contracts for Freelancers

I am about to enter the world of consulting for the first time and am having to write my first contract. One problem I have is regarding open source work and intellectual property. I love working on ...
6
votes
1answer
518 views

Is there a freelance website dedicated to high-end work, like writing compilers? [closed]

I've read through the previous posts on freelance websites and used most of them. I'm looking for a website dedicated to high-end professionals and high-end work. Such as writing software compilers, ...
2
votes
3answers
168 views

When doing up a quote, do I see my client in person, or send it via email? [closed]

Client need something done, I need to write up a quote, how do I approach it? If you have any general strategy on this issue would also be appreciated. This is to build a website/database for a few ...
7
votes
12answers
864 views

How do I decide whether to take a job I can't add to my portfolio?

I am a programmer, but since I've barely been in the professional market my portfolio is rather bare right now. Still, I started to try and get my website up and running to help a little bit, but what ...
10
votes
11answers
762 views

How should one handle “free projects”? Should one accept them or not?

Ok, as a software engineer, I feel that my skills are valuable in other contexts, for instance, a friend came to me and asked me to setup a website for her research and I did it for free. At first I ...
0
votes
6answers
296 views

Who owns this work?

I worked for a small company as a long term contractor making websites and other such things. A client comes along, pays what he said was "A lot of money" for me to spend a week doing his website. ...
7
votes
3answers
750 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?”

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What are the reasons that make PHP more popular for freelancing world?

In many freelancing websites, you see many job ads for PHP (backed by MySQL). However, job ads for .NET, Java, Ruby, etc. are not that much. What are the reasons which make PHP so popular for ...
25
votes
4answers
901 views

Is there an analogue to “FizzBuzz” for choosing clients? [closed]

This is for the freelancers. In my past life as a full-time employee, I was involved in hiring and interviewed a good number of developers. I learned that it was much more valuable to see a developer ...
2
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
876 views

How do I manage success as an independent contractor?

I'm fixing bugs for a software company as a contractor on a per hour basis (first time for me). Today, in 6 hours I fixed two issues which had been planned at 32 and 40 hours each. The days before ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
343 views

What do you do to make the client understand that requirements not mentioned in contract should be charged separately?

I've done a very small project for a specified amount of payment. The project was some client-side validation code. However, now client asks for code improvement (general code improvement including ...
3
votes
3answers
171 views

Freelancing as an individual. Products as a company. Should I integrate the two to grow?

When I started my company in 2005, I began with freelancing projects, but quickly moved to products. My personal site listed my consulting availability and portfolio pieces, which included a selection ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it a good idea to do contract work for a former full time employer? [closed]

Assuming: The employee and company are parting on good terms The new company is OK with a little contract work as long as it doesn't distract from the new job The former company wants the help and ...
13
votes
3answers
954 views

As a contractor, am I liable for bugs? (Do I need Liability Insurance?) [closed]

I've got a neighbor who has been trying to sell me insurance for my side business. His claim is that I could be sued by my clients if the software I produce does not perform properly or has bugs in ...
5
votes
1answer
331 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
387 views

What technologies are needed to be a freelance web developer / designer targeting small businesses?

First off, I'm not looking for this answer: "learn PHP/MySQL, JQuery, HTML/CSS...." My background, I wear many hats, and do many things. Currently I manage investment accounts with a business partner ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do freelancers know how much their work is worth?

I want to start a bit of freelancing in web development using ASP.NET MVC3 and PHP and I already have some people who are interested in hiring me, but I still can't figure out how much to charge for ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

Legality/Ethics of crawling a site to basically copy its database? [closed]

A potential freelance client wants a copy of all the phone numbers in an entire country of several million people in CSV format for their telemarketing system. They have sent me a link to an online ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
436 views

Which contract work type provides the most stability while offering flexibility?

I tried my best to frame this question in such a way that it will help others out there who are curious about the same thing as I am. I am currently a full time C++ programmer. I also do a little bit ...
6
votes
4answers
716 views

Where can you find your first customers as a freelancer? [closed]

I want to start doing freelance work, but no matter how I look at it, it seems like the best way to get customers and to have work most of the time, you have to already be in the freelancing game. ...
2
votes
7answers
588 views

When to switch to mobile programming? [closed]

We're a team of developers working on some PC applications. But we have also witnessed a trend in the market towards writing more and more mobile sites and mobile applications. Is it time for ...
0
votes
1answer
172 views

Who would be responsive for damage caused after cloning foreign application but NOT running it as freelancer?

This is just theoretical question, without context. In case somebody hire me (as freelancer (I'm A1)) client (A2) wants to develop CLONE of an existing application from B1 company after some time ...
8
votes
8answers
668 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 ...
112
votes
18answers
18k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Best tool to privately share code with members of a team? [closed]

I'm getting into freelance web design and I have a team of several people. I was wondering what is the best tool (preferably free) to share code with other members of the team, allow them to edit it ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Client Request Explanation of “Benefits” as part of consulting fee

I gave my rate to my client with a simple breakdown as requested. I listed out the components of my rate 1) Salary 2) Benefits 3) Overhead (tax, suppliers, etc etc) The client is ok with 1) and 3) ...
41
votes
6answers
30k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
155 views

“Benefit Package” as part of consulting fee [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I determine my rates for writing custom software? I would like to see how you freelancer/small biz owner calculate your fee. I am putting together my hourly ...
17
votes
6answers
873 views

How can I remove my fear of doing freelancing work?

I usually work in a web design company, but my manager also has his own company. He is a designer basically and he catches the projects with clients and then I do his work during weekends or whenever ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to decide maintenance cost/terms for freelance work?

I am a JavaScript programmer and am planning to take Freelance projects related to JavaScript effects for the web. Recently a potential client approached me to create a JavaScript effect for his ...
3
votes
4answers
513 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
314 views

How feasible would it be to not work for anyone, my entire programming career?

Assume I have enough money to live off of for 3 months. Would it be impossible to just freelance my entire programming career, after sufficiently learning the language and helping open source ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

What advice would you give to someone going freelance? [closed]

I'm trying to get out of the Corporate game and go indie. I've always prided myself on being a jack of all trades so I think it suits me. If you're a freelancer or independent, what's the best advice ...
2
votes
1answer
318 views

Getting paid through Ltd or Umbrella company?

I am working for a company as a web dev consultant at the moment, and they asked me whether I want to get payed through the Umbrella company or through my Ltd. Which is better for me and why? The ...
36
votes
14answers
1k views

How to improve relationships between consultants and staff programmers

I have been a consultant for a small software consulting firm for quite some time now. Our normal business model is not staff augmentation, but such that we find clients who need assistance in ...
2
votes
1answer
639 views

How does freelance job operate? [closed]

I want to find a freelance job, but I've never done any freelance work before. I want to know what the process involves. Can you please answer the following questions? If the programmer finds a ...
0
votes
2answers
558 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
2k 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 ...
27
votes
10answers
2k views

Why do companies tell me they want me as an in-house employee, not as a contractor?

Context Money is not what is at issue here. What is at issue is independence and to make sure I will contribute by working at my field of expertise, tactfulness, and ensuring everyone's expectations ...
15
votes
4answers
577 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
603 views

Will I learn more freelancing or working for a company?

I got out of school about a year ago, and have been freelancing since then. Sometimes it seems like it would be a good idea to work for a company for a few years, to learn from people with more ...
3
votes
2answers
327 views

Contract review for international contracting

I am intending to work as an independent contractor, writing software for a client based in another country. My work will be provided electronically so I won't need to relocate. However, there is a ...
5
votes
3answers
113 views

How to gather critique on a highly specific or niche application?

I'm currently developing, on an independent basis, an application that is highly domain specific; a niche application if you will. This is all well and good, of course; but there is one problem; I'm ...
6
votes
5answers
586 views

Boring but important niches that would be a best-practices-consulting gold mine

I am absolutely convinced that you one make a very good living as a consultant that helps customers with deep understanding of and practical knowledge in one of the following topics Time zones, ...
3
votes
3answers
265 views

Made a windows gadget for the local tram company without request. What now?

I'm too lazy to look at a pdf/table when the next tram is, so I did a windows widget that always tells me when the next one is. You can add, edit and delete trams to be watched. I don't work for this ...