This is a fairly long topic, so I'm going to break it down into pieces.
What kinds of software do I do?
I'm mostly a "back-end" developer, meaning things that work on a server, unseen by end-users, as distinct from "front-end" things that work in their browsers or on their phones or tablets, where visual appeal is very important. (I also do command-line programs and so on. If you're not sure, just ask.) "Front-end" software may talk to software I develop, and I may make small modifications to them, but they are not at all my forte.
I also generally do not do web sites (things to present your content), as opposed to web applications (which store, process, and retrieve data).
Fixed Price Projects
I may make a fixed-price bid on your project, but only if you have used my roadmapping services for it first. In this case, half those fees will be deducted from my bid. Project-based work is done remotely (barring any meetings we agree on before starting), on the schedule we agree on for completion and any other milestones.
I generally require a 50% deposit up front, and the rest within two weeks of completion. For unusually long projects, we may negotiate other milestone payments.
Buying My Time
I mainly do remote part-time B2B or 1099 contracts. I will also consider:
- a short "commute" (from Fairfax City, Virginia);
- brief work (up to a month) at 40 hours/week;
- light travel (up to two weeks at a time, up to 20% of the time);
- and temporary (up to six months) W2 employment.
I start with a high rate, but you get significant discounts for:
- bringing me the work (vs. me hunting it down),
- staffing agencies (vs. direct clients),
- work on a temporary W2 basis (vs. B2B/1099),
- looser time-tracking (e.g., "by the half-month" versus "to the minute"),
- prepayment (including retainers),
- and having used my roadmapping services for this project,
- plus credits (non-cashable) for early payment.
On top of all that, I'll negotiate a little bit. On the other claw, all travel (and related) time, and all other overhead you inflict, count in full, and I may also raise my rate for various other hassle-factors. Also, rush-work, work outside of normal hours, and assorted other unusual conditions, cost extra.
I generally bill every half-month (never less often), net 27, though these too are negotiable.
- I will fix for free anything that we both agree is a bug in software I wrote.. (This will usually require that there be requirements, or at least approved tickets or approved tests. There is a deadline of one month after your acceptance or two months of my submission, whichever comes first.)
- I will learn for free anything that I think I will likely use on later contracts for other clients.
- If work tracking is left up to me, I prefer to manage it in a "small-a" agile fashion. We agree on stories, I estimate them if you need, you prioritize them (and feel free to reprioritize, add, and remove them at any time), and I work on them in current-priority order. This can easily be fit into most of the big-A Agile or Lean methodologies. (Of course, if you've got other ideas, the customer is always right, and if I'm part of a team, I'll do whatever the team decides on.)
- Don't bother contacting me about working for Bloomberg, Comcast, or Gannett. It's not necessarily anything against them, but there are contractual obligations, prior submissions, etc.
- There are late-fees and other penalties for overdue invoices. This is not negotiable.
- I am not open to "permanent" employment, changing careers, relocation, spending months on the road, or working for equity. Please do not contact me about such things; I treat them as spam.