[Baypiggies] Thoughts on starting a career as a consultant?

Stephen Lacy slacy at slacy.com
Tue Jun 22 19:35:42 CEST 2010

Hey all,

I've been a software engineer for well over 10 years, mainly C++, but Python
for about the last year, and I'm really enjoying it.

I'm getting more and more interested in transitioning from a full-timer at a
large company to being a Python+Django freelance consultant.  My background
is mainly in engineering, not design, but of course I'm fully versed in
HTML+CSS, I'm just not the best person to be designing interfaces from
scratch or doing complex visual design & graphics.

Has anyone here made this transition before?  How did it go?  My biggest
fears are:

- How am I going to attract clients? (Although this list, and sites like
djanggigs.com seem like pretty good sources to start.)
- Am I good at managing client relationships?  How hard will this be?
(billing, scope creep, missed deadlines, etc.)
- What about the graphics/visual design side of things?  What do you usually
do for this, or has the client already outsourced a design and they just
need implementation?
- Maybe I just want to get a FT position with a web design&build firm
instead?  What are the pros/cons of that approach vs. freelancing?

Any thoughts or experiences from people who have done this transition would
be great.  Thanks!

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