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

Alvin Wang alvinwang at gmail.com
Tue Jun 22 20:07:43 CEST 2010

I have been a freelancer off and on for over 20 yrs.

My advice is to go through head hunter agencies especially in Silicon
Valley.  They do take a cut but you only pay the one that finds you work.
They also deal with billing.  They know where the better pay contracts are.
If you have short gigs, you will spend far too much time looking for work.

I use 3-4 agencies.  The key to managing more than 1 agency is that you do
not allow them to send you in until they call you with the name of the
company.  Do not allow more than 1 agency to submit you to the same company
regardless of what they say.


On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 10:35 AM, Stephen Lacy <slacy at slacy.com> wrote:

> 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!
> Steve
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