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Old 09-03-2009, 16:05   #1
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Software Contracting / Consulting

Any developers out there getting good paying contracting jobs while on the move? I'm not talking about rentacoder type bull.
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Old 09-03-2009, 16:46   #2
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Any developers out there getting good paying contracting jobs while on the move? I'm not talking about rentacoder type bull.
Yes... well, kinda. I'm not on the move yet, but I will be later this year. I currently work remotely as a full-time employee for a software company. I will continue to do so after I've moved aboard. My employer doesn't care where I work, so long as I produce results and can visit the office every 4-6 weeks.

I have already started to make contacts and line up contracts for the time when I'm ready to stop making office visits. I have one long term contract that I have been working since 2006 that will keep me going indefinitely, long after I quit my full-time job. (This contract has been the primary funding source for the boat I currently own and the next boat.) I also have at least two other contracts both of which are short-term, but one has residual income.

In my experience as an off-site contractor, it's feast or famine. If contracting is your entire income, have savings to make it through the the famine. Don't expect to find work between November 15 and January 15. Be dependable and available. I can't tell you the amount of work I've picked up just because the previous contractor just disappeared one day.

Don't be afraid or too proud to be a rent-a-coder. If you're on a boat in paradise living on pennies a day, why do you need the stress or income of a full time professional programmer job? (That is, unless you're like me and have a boat loan to pay.)
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Old 09-03-2009, 16:52   #3
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Why? Because I make around 50 dollars an hour here in the states, and the people who post on rentacoder want some third world kid to do it for pennies on the dollar, which isn't worth my time.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:45   #4
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Well, alrighty then. I was willing to help a fellow (potential?) cruiser. I was willing to give advice. I was willing to share lessons learned in my 15+ years in the software industry. I was willing to help you find worthwhile work the way I find work. I was even willing to pass my excess (>$50/hour) work your way. Now, I'm annoyed. Your reply comes across to me as arrogant and closed-minded. I am no longer willing. All I have to say now is...

I wish you all the best. I hope you find everything you're looking for, whatever that may be. Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:11   #5
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Msot of my contracting gigs have been on-site, and unfortunately those sites are rarely in prime cruising grounds. I am currently bouncing around the Caribbean and at over $1 per minute for a 2400 baud connection I would recommend staying away from Iridium; the new BGAN networks are cheaper and more effective if you need to be on-line in order to do work.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:54   #6
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Kevingy, I'm not sure what you found offensive about my post? I am sorry if I came off as arrogant.

Perhaps there is something lost in translation, I was not talking about being a rent-a-coder as a job title (equivalent to contractor?), I was talking about Rent A Coder: How Software Gets Done -- Home of the worlds' largest number of completed software projects, which is the only way I know how to find contracting jobs, and the jobs are all terrible.

Stephen
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:47   #7
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I've been contracting for 12 years now and prefer it that way. However, I don't have contacts for the kind of remote work that Kevingy does... Some of those would be nice to have in the back pocket....
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Old 31-03-2009, 11:07   #8
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My dream is to get intermittent contracts in every major port in Australia whilst living aboard. I'm not a coder - I read code and write technical documents, do business analysis and project manage software development projects. I've been working remotely half the time - but don't have my boat yet! Now I'm taking a break, studying up online (on cruisers forum), going out from Hillary's for a lesson or charter when I can, and preparing to make an offer on suitable vessel. Would welcome the opportunity to network with other enthusiasts working remotely.
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Old 31-03-2009, 11:42   #9
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Im set up to just fly back at frequent or infrequent intervals to do implementation work. I just need to find a decent boat thats not in canada. get a dish network broadband antenna and get to work. Ive worked out that every 6 weeks on shore can give me about 9 months off shore more or less.

If youre looking for contract work , one thing Ive learned is keep your potential clients options open. Most people who are looking are looking for W2 full time or W2 contract. By being incorporated Ive found that it opens doors and gets you more money. especially if you do your accounting correct (not even going into gray areas) Most head hunters can do C2C but dont advertise it. By being C2C youre making it easier for them to get you in.

Keep your self informed on what the typical end client bill rates are. If youre make 50 an hour direct for C## skills youre lowballing and should have tons of work. The avg corp bill rate starts about 135 an hour. Earlier on when Id do a contract I was getting about 70pct of the bill rate but over time especially with off shore head hunters they were whining and moaning over me getting what ended up being 25pct. Now for what I do I have a very firm grip on what the end clients get billed and can negotiate much higher. I always get a call with a 30-45 second blurb and then "How much will you do this for?" . Im like "I have a car in my driveway, its white and has 4 tires, what can I get for it?" It used to be just a number Id give them. Now its a larger number with no less than 70 percent end client bill rate to keep them honest, and then throw in that I know the bill rate range so dont BS me. Im not trying to be mean but Im doing all the work and theyre trying to get me to take 30 percent No friggen way.

I just go through DICE and find most anything I need, I also will take stuff that I need to fly in for to anywhere. It makes it funner.

Your circumstances are the results of what you negotiate. If they suck, who do you blame?
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Old 31-03-2009, 11:48   #10
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I've been doing it for the last 10 years but I'm stationary on land. All my clients are far away. Availability counts and relationships are more important than that. Software is still more about people than bits and bytes. Technology changes frequently but people have not improved in the last 200,000 years. It's also about business too. You have to be able to collect the money. If you are far away a slightly dissatisfied customer can do the math.
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Old 31-03-2009, 12:00   #11
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Im not trying to be mean but Im doing all the work and theyre trying to get me to take 30 percent No friggen way.
Ok, I am not in the computer mumbo jumbo field*, but have spent a lot of time over the years contracting via Agencies. Not by choice for the reasons mentioned but sometimes it is easier / quicker / simpler.....especially when I would b#gger off on holiday for 6 months or so, and upon my return pick up the phone direct for the next couple of years

But my (long awaited ) solution (revenge?) is that I am in the process of establishing my own agency via a Joint Venture . And in my own small niche plan A is to cut the f#cking legs off a couple of existing Agencies and plan B is to make some money ........but I will settle on Cherry picking both the jobs and the contractors for the day to day business (I think it's called extracting the synergies ).

*correction, I have recently entered the field of Computer Software Development via a Joint Venture with someone who knows about (enjoys ) that stuff. So far it is working well. I haven't had to do any work. nor spend any money

*was also looking for a website creator / developer - who would work for peanuts. preferably litterally - plan A was to find a small child in the 3rd world via the internet. But as a 40 (ish ) year old single fella I could see the possibility of that one going badly
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Old 31-03-2009, 19:53   #12
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If youre looking for contract work , one thing Ive learned is keep your potential clients options open. Most people who are looking are looking for W2 full time or W2 contract. By being incorporated Ive found that it opens doors and gets you more money. especially if you do your accounting correct (not even going into gray areas) Most head hunters can do C2C but dont advertise it. By being C2C youre making it easier for them to get you in.
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Old 06-04-2009, 15:57   #13
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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
I've been doing it for the last 10 years but I'm stationary on land. All my clients are far away. Availability counts and relationships are more important than that. Software is still more about people than bits and bytes. Technology changes frequently but people have not improved in the last 200,000 years. It's also about business too. You have to be able to collect the money. If you are far away a slightly dissatisfied customer can do the math.
Well said. I couldn't agree more.

There are things that you can do to collect the money, though. About 8 years ago, I had a client in Australia who was reluctant to pay. I hired a lawyer to take a stern letter that I had written, put the letter on their letterhead, and send the letter from their office (a local Australian address). A few days later, I received an apologetic telephone call from the client. The funds wired to my account the next day. The cost of the lawyer was minimal, well worth being able to collect on the invoice.
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