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

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16
votes
9answers
4k views

Do developers ever contract by retainer? If not, why? [closed]

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. ...
2
votes
4answers
279 views

Freelancing and GPL?

Is it possible for a freelance programmer to use Open Source products under GNU Public License and make money given that he cannot stop his customers from freely distributing his products?
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
55 views

Client and access to Github history [closed]

About a year ago, our company hired a development company to build a mobile app we had been longing to do, but never got the time to develop. With previous bad luck with outsourcing, we got it on ...
4
votes
2answers
206 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: Salary Benefits Overhead (tax, suppliers, etc etc) The client is ok with 1) and 3) But ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

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

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
312 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How exactly do exclusive code rights work? [closed]

I was asked by a client to submit a proposal for a web-app he wants to built. This client is a startup with a relatively good traction so far (as it seems). I have been asked to draft up a contract ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

How to start a Software Company [closed]

I've always been interested in wondering how software companies happen. I find it extremely difficult once you're tied down with car, house, life etc. Funding is always the biggest concern. To make ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

Any library or dll to use to give a free lancers project from clients who accept your work but not pay [closed]

I've been thinking about getting into the free lance field (using sites like guru.com or freelance.com). Something I see in the FAQ's is that there's been numerous instances where the client got an ...
11
votes
3answers
666 views

Who owns code if project cancelled [closed]

The problem: I am working on a freelance marketplace, and I decided to cancel project with one of my clients, because client is impossible to work with with limitless delays and lots of bugs in his ...
30
votes
12answers
2k views

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

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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
99 views

Providing production code samples as part of an invited freelance work proposal? [closed]

I have only recently started to market myself as a 'programmer' rather than an analyst or something else entirely. In a recent search of freelance/part-time/contract work, I came across an ad for a ...
1
vote
3answers
230 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
779 views

Wrote an application for a friend. Who is the owner of the software? [closed]

Friend asked me to develop a software application for him. I did and he paid me. There was no written contract. I live in UK and he resides in Canada. My question is: who is the owner of the software ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

How much pair programming is ideal? [duplicate]

I think pair programming can be incredibly effective, and I don't mind doing it every now and then, but a company I've interviewed with states they pair program "95% of the time" (they're a consulting ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Freelancer websites and share source code with staff [closed]

How safe is sending project files via popular freelance websites? For example their staff/admins has unlimited access to tons of very valuable sources, what's the sense then to upload there something ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
230 views

Should one reject over-scoped projects? [closed]

I spoke to my first potential client today and he told me about the requirements of his project - an Android app. He is a well-known designer / photographer in my country and now wants me to "convert ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Are missed deadlines common in programming jobs? [closed]

It was my freelancer job at oDesk. I have done several jobs earlier in given time, but is was the first time I missed the deadline. It was a very lengthy job and I tried my best but I still missed the ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
250 views

Quoting for a project with closed source [closed]

I sit with a project that I need to quote, and until the job is awarded, I can only use "View source" to check, and ask a few questions about the system. That makes quoting outright impossible for me ...
49
votes
6answers
41k 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 ...
116
votes
18answers
19k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Questions on software development contracting [closed]

I am trying to understand a few aspects of applying for jobs such as the following: Android Developer - Front-end Experience Required - 3 month contract - London - £300 per day - Immediate start I ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I continue to perform freelance work for customers who keep on demanding more without paying? [closed]

So a client comes to me and says it needs some work done. Basically 4 tasks, which I agreed to perform for a certain price. The customer creates the job offer (a fixed time and price job) on ODesk, I ...
7
votes
3answers
683 views

What issues are there for doing freelance work? [closed]

I'm considering doing some contract work on the side of my normal job. I know that it will kill my free time, but I figure I can control when I'm doing projects and then get a little extra money or ...
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 ...
8
votes
10answers
1k views

Is there really anything to gain with complex design?

I've been working for a consulting firm for some time, with clients of various sizes, and I've seen web applications ranging in complexity from really simple: MVC Service Layer EF DB To really ...
-1
votes
2answers
217 views

How to assure client that we will complete our project and won't run away with the money [closed]

I have decided to work as a freelancer. I have developed a software and have successfully given the presentation demo. The client liked it and has agreed to implement the project in his organisation. ...
5
votes
1answer
505 views

Typical agreements for freelance development? [closed]

I am just starting out my programming career and I have a chance to bid on a freelance job. I have looked over the specifications for the app and believe I am capable of meeting the requirements ...
25
votes
11answers
2k views

How to bill a client for frequently-interrupted time [closed]

I find that when I'm working on hourly-billable projects (in particular, those that are research/design/architecture-oriented as opposed to straight coding) that I'm easily distracted by any number of ...
1
vote
5answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
680 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Terminating a freelance contract before completion [closed]

I've been building a large web application for a company. Initially the project owner appointed a Graphic/Web designer to complete all design/front end works. Me and who ever I bring in to complete ...
1
vote
2answers
291 views

Freelance charging based on tasks completed [closed]

I've just started freelancing and have two projects where I am splitting my week with both companies, one I'm charging hourly and everything is fine, the other one however they have said they will pay ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the characteristics or features of production-quality code?

This is the first time I will be delivering code for a freelance project (web-app), and, since I don't have much experience shipping code, I am having a hard time deciding whether my program is ready ...
3
votes
2answers
948 views

Freelance Web Developer tools [closed]

I'm thinking of freelancing and building web sites in my free time. I have experience in C#/ASP.NET, JavaScript/jQuery as well as HTML/CSS and SQL. Thus, I feel like I have sufficient web ...
16
votes
14answers
2k views

How can I defend Ruby on Rails against customers' not technical opinion?

My customer, a translations business owner, just told me that he has been reading about Ruby on Rails and told me that "there are more PHP guys around there" and "it seems the community prefers it". ...
0
votes
2answers
682 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
222 views

Reusing code across several clients' projects [closed]

I've been a freelance web developer for 6 years. I have an issue that's bothering me and I'd like some advice. (Do note: I want advice from experienced freelance developers, or people who have been in ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
199 views

Business Equity for Code. Is it advisable to enter into such agreements? [closed]

I have been considering this approach for a project I am about to embark upon and would like to hear from other programmers about their experience in contributing code for equity. Has anyone been ...
3
votes
2answers
374 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
273 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

In freelance software development, what kind of penalties should firms have when they miss deadlines? [closed]

I was talking with a co-developer. He has a client that wanted to make sure that he delivers on time. The client wants repercussions for missed deadlines. While I do not do freelance work, I ...
5
votes
2answers
757 views

Is it okay to add time for “unexpected delays” to a time estimate?

I've landed my first contract (hooray, self employment!) and the company is asking for time estimates. Programmers are notoriously bad at time estimates, and I know I've been laughably wrong ...
20
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...