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

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60
votes
28answers
78k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
154 views

How escrow works on software projects? [closed]

My understanding of escrow, as it is used in software projects between a "client" (commissioning the software/app) and a "contractor" (developer; provider of application services) is as follows: The ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Starting consulting while employed - conflict of interest [closed]

First of all I am not after legal advice. This is a bit TL;DR but I have a summary at the bottom, I'm explaining it all so people can offer insightful advise. Situation I need to explain my present ...
6
votes
2answers
943 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
263 views

How to define fixed priced software projects and how to argue what is inside scope and what is outside scope? [closed]

So here is what happened The customer gave me a list of things he wanted to have. It is a funding website. So to start a funding project he wanted to have certain fields in the "create/edit funding ...
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 ...
17
votes
6answers
994 views

How can I remove my fear of doing freelancing work? [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

What document/artifact should alert me when an old requirement changes the scope of new one?

I developed a software application a year ago, I delivered it with a simple documentation. For example, it has an special and complicated login system as requirement. Now the customer calls and ask ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

How To Better Manage Expectations on Iterations in Software Dev [duplicate]

This question is inspired by a current problem I having with a client I am consulting through. A few months ago we were working on a project for a big construction firm. I was working on an hourly ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Demonstrate or Report a project to Client while freelancing

I have started freelancing for couple of weeks and have done few projects. While doing it I found myself in risky situation when client ask progress and also want to see it done. which means I have ...
2
votes
4answers
302 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?
32
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
72 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
209 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
684 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
122 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
238 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
873 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 ...
16
votes
14answers
7k 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
298 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
7
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
262 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 ...
57
votes
6answers
57k 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 ...
118
votes
18answers
22k 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 ...
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
755 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
267 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
806 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
724 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
3k 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
334 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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
1k 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 ...
17
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
844 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
30
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
235 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
412 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
312 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 ...