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
2answers
241 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
220 views

Would be good to include your freelancer account in your Resume / CV when applying for a job? [closed]

I've been working as a freelancer for about two years in vWorker. Any person can visit a coder's profile, and see in how many projects the coder has worked on, (if the coders allows) see how much the ...
8
votes
4answers
278 views

How can I gracefully handle a contractor who's trying to bypass a previous client?

I've been freelancing for a local game development shop. Most of the projects we worked on were brought in by an external contractor. This guy now wants to do business directly with me for some new ...
3
votes
7answers
629 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
19k views

Are there any contracting agreement templates online? [closed]

Contracting is fairly common, so I imagine that there's some pre-fab templates for software contracting agreements out there. I'm looking for one that I modify for my needs, pass through my lawyer and ...
9
votes
5answers
666 views

Contractor vs Consultant [closed]

For a programmer, two of the most common terms that seem to be overloaded are contractor and consultant? Is there a difference between the two?
7
votes
7answers
4k views

From non programmer to “professional” freelance programmer [closed]

I am 15 year old student looking to buy his first car and thought I could earn some extra money by learning to program since I like messing around with the computer all the time. I have been reading ...
9
votes
5answers
629 views

Is the agile approach compatible with having contractors on staff?

On the one hand, the agile approach stresses a tight-knit team that holds each other accountable and accepts collective ownership of the project. On the other hand, companies use contract programmers ...
9
votes
9answers
449 views

Do unfamiliar frameworks make you nervous? [closed]

Our company is a small (non-technical) startup who is currently going through a developer transition, and we considered bringing in a local web development firm to work with us on a project basis. I ...
15
votes
10answers
910 views

How can I motivate management to allow freelance work? [closed]

I'm a developer at a small company. Sometimes I'm offered extra cash for freelance work from previous employers or on odd jobs that I could do after hours without encroaching on my full time job in ...
10
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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
182 views

Source code used when supplying this to customer [closed]

Do you write your code differently when you need to hand it over to a customer? How does one balance the delivery of good code while at the same time not handing over too much "intellectual property"? ...
21
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
746 views

Contract Programming - Deposit % and Payment Methods? Any advice is appreciated

I'm pretty new to doing contract work and finally landed a decent paying project. The guy actually offered to put down a deposit and I'm just wondering what percentage I should consider asking for. I ...
9
votes
5answers
477 views

Charging by the hour/project [closed]

This is related to a question I asked earlier - How to end a relationship with a client without pissing them off? What are your obligations when charging by the hour vs charging by project? If you ...
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
513 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
638 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
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 ...
12
votes
9answers
539 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
737 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
221 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
346 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
14k 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 ...
49
votes
28answers
43k 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
5k 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
215 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
919 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
1k 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
352 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
517 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 ...
12
votes
10answers
5k views

Do you work contract projects in addition to your full-time job? [closed]

As developers do you ever seek out contract work in addition to your full-time job? I am considering pursuing some additional part-time opportunities and I'm curious how common it is among full-time ...
4
votes
3answers
713 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
262 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
247 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
901 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 ...
21
votes
12answers
559 views

How do I make my customers not like me too much?

In 2004 I went to work for a consulting firm because I like variety, challenges, working with new technologies, etc. However, I've been a developer for 25 years - and spent the majority of my career ...