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

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5
votes
8answers
284 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 ...
14
votes
9answers
3k views

Do developers ever contract by retainer? If not, why?

I'm leaving my current employer in two weeks, but have an excellent relationship with them and am somewhat emotionally attached to a project that I have developed over the last couple of years. ...
26
votes
12answers
3k views

Where to find clients? [closed]

My main area: web development. Of course, I don't expect anybody give away their 'gold mine' or whatever but I am struggling to see where I should be advertising my services. I have one other ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to decide on a price for the project as a freelancer

I have seen similar question on this SE site but none comes close to a sure shot answer and many are rather subjective. So i am taking a website as an example to be more objective for you to decide ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

finding high end software contracting jobs [closed]

I've been contracting for about 3 years now. I am currently a contractor for a web firm. This is a hourly position. I want to find larger projects. I had read that some people are able to only do one ...
16
votes
4answers
514 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
322 views

Is there such a thing as “closure” with software work?

I burned out last year (after a decade of fulltime programming jobs) and am on a sabbatical now. With all the self-examination I've started to figure out some of the root causes of my burnout, and one ...
7
votes
3answers
342 views

Is it common practice to hire third parties to do code reviews for contractors?

I recently observed some contract offers which included a "code review by third party" clause - the contract would not pay out fully until the code review was completed and it received a pass. I was ...
4
votes
6answers
338 views

How do I deal with code of bad quality contributed by a third party?

I've recently been promoted into managing one of our most important projects. Most of the code in this project has been written by a partner of ours, not by ourselves. The code in question is of very ...
4
votes
2answers
240 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
2answers
199 views

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

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
270 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
591 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
17k 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
661 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?
6
votes
7answers
3k 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
560 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
447 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
882 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
181 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
699 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
465 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

Who should pay for fixes/bugs?

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the best marketplace for freelance programmers? [closed]

I need a really talented, hardworking programmer who knows Cocoa and Objective C for my Iphone App. I'm looking for a partner and not just a programmer. It's a pretty big project that takes a talented ...
1
vote
7answers
480 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
609 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
528 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
693 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How much can I charge for this a little job? [closed]

I started doing freelancing. I got my first job to create a set of reports. The business team has provided me with the sample reports and also some sample codes. My job is to query the database and ...
1
vote
1answer
201 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
336 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
11k 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 ...
45
votes
28answers
30k 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 ...
15
votes
14answers
4k 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
202 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
798 views

The number of years experience needed to be a contract developer

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, ...
8
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
329 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
348 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
505 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 ...