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

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31
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
7answers
525 views

Catering for client's web-hosting needs, minus the headaches?

I'll be trying to sell my Ruby on Rails development skills to small local businesses. It seems I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I couldn't manage to put their apps into production, in fact ...
6
votes
3answers
673 views

Is remote agile sustainable?

This is somewhat related to another question i just asked, but I'm freelancing solo and remotely for a contractor who is to project management, what big ball of mud is to code, so to speak. I've been ...
12
votes
9answers
554 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
805 views

Contract / Freelance Programming, The initial communication process / sending documents to them (terms, etc) [closed]

I've been searching around for info on contract / freelance programming as far as steps to take in the initial communication with a client (someone who has contacted me regarding a project). I am ...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

Are companies in certain locations (big city vs small town, etc) more likely to offer telecommute contract programming work?

I'm interested in taking on more contract projects for programming and, although it'd be nice to find clients just in my area, I want to expand my search a bit to other areas where a company may allow ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Should a contract programmer have a portfolio? [closed]

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 ...
5
votes
4answers
351 views

Freelance web development vs. design

Do web design freelancers (I'm thinking individuals, not companies) typically do all development and design work themselves? What are the options for those with a strong base in back-end web ...
13
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
51
votes
28answers
54k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

What groupware/project-management apps (preferably self-hosted webapp) do you recommend for a small dev shop? [closed]

I run a small Drupal consulting shop and we've been trying different groupware solutions for what seems like ages, yet nothing we've found seems to be a good fit. We don't need CRM-overkill such as ...
16
votes
14answers
6k views

Should I ask/tell my boss before freelancing? [closed]

I am currently working as an intern at a consulting firm. I am soon to move to a full time employee once I graduate next semester, and I love working there. However, as a student, I lack money and I ...
18
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
226 views

Barter vs. Cash for a Retailer's eCommerce Site [closed]

I am putting together a proposal for a local store with both a brick-n-mortar and web presence. It's an upscale shop that also happens to be one of my wife's favorites. I am considering offering the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

The number of years experience needed to be a contract developer [closed]

Suppose you are a programmer in your mid-20's who has had several years industrial experience working for both big tech and a few internet startups but now you'd like to try contracting in the hope ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is online freelance work viable by American standards? [closed]

I've always been curious about trying out online freelance sites... it would be nice to work from home, feel independent, get to choose what I want to work on, get to work on different technologies, ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Just how bad is it not to Dispose() SqlConnections?

Personally, I break out in hives if I don't put ADO objects that implement IDisposable in using statements. But at my current contract, I've found that their homegrown enterprise framework "data ...
2
votes
4answers
368 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
352 views

Queries on online project outsourcing sites

I have been looking at RentACoder, Freelancer and eLance from last few years but I always hesitated to register at these site. Hesitation includes little worry too. These questions fill me: (1) Is ...
12
votes
4answers
529 views

GPL in the workplace?

I once interviewed at a consulting company where it came up in the conversation that they use open source products (which is great, I've used Hibernate, JBoss, etc. extensively.) One thing that did ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

Quit my job (for a new job). Old job wants me to be available for contracting. Steps to take?

The company I am leaving has asked that I make myself available to answer questions and/or debug programs occasionally should the need arise. I'm not opposed to this. After searching google for some ...
4
votes
3answers
730 views

Example of Terms of Services for Agile contracting?

In my experience as a freelance developper, I've had some difficulties with clients, whom insist on getting an estimate over flimsy requirements. They then expect me to deal with requirements changes, ...
1
vote
2answers
277 views

How do I find a qualified web designer in my area? [closed]

I just sent out emails to five local web design companies to my area asking to take drawings to HTML/CSS/jQuery. None of the ones who accepted the deal seem suitable to myself. Others rejected the ...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

Contract Billing - How would you handle 'learning time'?

So you take a contract where you have solid experience with 75% of the technology necessary. How do you handle your time to learn the other 25%? Work it into the billing time? Expose the 25% in the ...
8
votes
2answers
248 views

How to bypass middlemen?

I'm freelancing on a project where I'm the only programmer, and find myself at the end of a line of four middlemen, who stand between me and the actual customer, each passing my work as internal to ...
10
votes
4answers
929 views

Hourly or per project billing? [closed]

How do you bill your programming projects? Do you do it per hour? Per job? Please include what kind of project you are doing in the answer. (Mobile, Web, Desktop, etc... You can be more specific if ...
35
votes
4answers
3k views

What should I ask a prospective client during initial meeting?

I'm about to branch out into taking on some contracts on the side. What would be some good questions to ask of a potential client during a first meeting? I've thought of a few things that seem pretty ...