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

Stephen McInerney spmcinerney at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 22 19:55:21 CEST 2010


This is something which has been of interest to a lot of us, which deserves an evening in itself, long overdue. (How to become a contractor, How to make the transition to going fulltime, How to evangelize for Python internally in your organization).

++ for making this a talk.


Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 10:35:42 -0700
From: slacy at slacy.com
To: baypiggies at python.org
Subject: [Baypiggies] Thoughts on starting a career as a consultant?

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!


The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. 
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