GOING INDEPENDENT
 A Developer’s Guide to Making it Solo
INTRODUCTIONS
Michael Kimsal

Web since 1995, PHP since 1996, ASP, Java, etc

Solo developer since 2007 (2nd time around)
...
CONFUSED ABOUT
GETTING STARTED?
IT CAN BE SCARY!

Not sure where to begin?

Too stressful?

Not enough savings?

Too many things to do?
RELAX!
WHY ARE YOU
   GOING
INDEPENDENT?
 Extra part time income?
   Be your own boss?
    Enjoy new things?
  Freedom / flexibili...
TIME FRAME?

Already independent? Near
future? (<6 months)
TODAY’S TOPICS

Getting set up
Finding work
Doing the work
Getting paid
GETTING SET UP

• Organization    / structure type

• Legal   / financial issues

• Contracts

• What    are you selling?

...
TYPES OF STRUCTURE

• LLC

•C   Corp

•S   Corp

• Sole   proprietor

• Other?
FIND A GOOD LAWYER
FIND A GOOD ACCOUNTANT
WHAT TYPE OF WORK?

• Services

  • Hourly   or fixed price?

• Products

  • Software As A   Service

  • Desktop Applicat...
CONTRACTS
 Using your own
        vs
 Using the client’s
CONTRACTS
 Have clear definitions
 of work to be done
and how to determine
 when you’re “done”
CONTRACTS
      Consider
 accepting or offering
       changes
TOOLS
getting the job done
HARDWARE
      Laptop
 Multiple monitors
      Printers
        Fax?
  Extra batteries
 Cables / adapters
   Carrier bag
SOFTWARE
  BASICS
        Invoicing
     Time tracking
    Screen sharing
Ticketing / issue system
DEVELOPER
  SOFTWARE
Are you still using Notepad? :)
DEVELOPER
SOFTWARE
      IDEs
   Debuggers
 Version control
DESIGNER
 SOFTWARE
     Adobe still rules
       Photoshop
      Dreamweaver

GIMP still works for some :)
SMARTPHONE?
   Time tracking
     Invoicing
   Presentations
    Voice calls!
FINDING CLIENTS
NETWORKIN’
    Local events
   Regional events
Chamber of Commerce
    User groups
JOB BOARDS
 Monster / HotJobs
      Craigslist
  Authentic Jobs
    Indeed.com
 SimplyHired.com
WORK SITES
    ODesk
    Elance
   Guru.com
BEING FINDABLE
MAIN SITE
    Profile site - main hub
     Contact information
Link to portfolio, resume, blog
PORTFOLIO
Designed sites, samples
  Code samples or
   links to projects
SOCIAL
MEDIA
    LinkedIn
   Facebook
     Twitter
StackOverflow
       etc
GETTING PAID
What we’re all doing this for :)
RATES
Will vary by region
Don’t forget taxes!
Keep competitive
RATES
US Example
Original rate       $50/hour
-15.3% SE Tax         $42.35
-20% Income Tax       $33.88
1200 billable hrs ...
INVOICING
   Terms
INVOICE LIKE
CLOCKWORK!
   Weekly? Bi weekly?
 Never get too far behind
MAKING IT EASY TO PAY
  PayPal, Google Checkout, paper checks
COLLECTIONS!
  Arbitration, small claims court
Should you hire a collections firm?
REPEAT!
Keeping the cycle going
MULTIPLE
STREAMS OF
  INCOME
    Multiple clients
   Multiple projects
  Recurring revenue
(hosting, content sites?)
BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK
    Find like-minded people to support you
QUESTIONS?
THANK YOU

Michael Kimsal

@mgkimsal

michaelkimsal.com

919.827.4724
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Going Independent - making it as a freelance web professional

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Presentation on starting off as a freelancing web professional (designer or developer).

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  • Fanurio was cross-platform (java). freshbooks and quickbooks are online. billing mac-only - same for ichat, but skype and others are cross-platform. fogbugz/jira are commercial - bugzilla open source - explore and find what works best for your workstyle

  • If you&amp;#x2019;ve not tried these sorts of tools, investigate before you continue to not use them. They can and will generally save you loads of time. Test driven or test focused will help a lot as well.

  • If you&amp;#x2019;re considering a smartphone, determine what sorts of activities you need to use it for. Time tracking, mileage calculations, invoicing, note taking, presentation management - even making voice calls! While not a vital necessity, a modern smartphone has made keeping in touch with clients via email much much easier for me.





  • If you&amp;#x2019;re looking for work, be contactable. That means having a phone or at least email number. Yes, you&amp;#x2019;ll get some spam, and some unwanted calls. You&amp;#x2019;ll also get some wanted calls.

    Keep site professional - keep wacky personal stuff for other networks or other sites.

  • Designers understand portfolio - developers not as much - have code samples ready. Open source projects even better - link to project contributions.

    Depending on who&amp;#x2019;s hiring you, they may not be able to judge the code itself, but often just *having* some is indicative of being on the ball.















  • Going Independent - making it as a freelance web professional

    1. 1. GOING INDEPENDENT A Developer’s Guide to Making it Solo
    2. 2. INTRODUCTIONS Michael Kimsal Web since 1995, PHP since 1996, ASP, Java, etc Solo developer since 2007 (2nd time around) Podcaster, publisher, author, blogger, developer
    3. 3. CONFUSED ABOUT GETTING STARTED?
    4. 4. IT CAN BE SCARY! Not sure where to begin? Too stressful? Not enough savings? Too many things to do?
    5. 5. RELAX!
    6. 6. WHY ARE YOU GOING INDEPENDENT? Extra part time income? Be your own boss? Enjoy new things? Freedom / flexibility? Recently laid off? Bootstrapping other idea?
    7. 7. TIME FRAME? Already independent? Near future? (<6 months)
    8. 8. TODAY’S TOPICS Getting set up Finding work Doing the work Getting paid
    9. 9. GETTING SET UP • Organization / structure type • Legal / financial issues • Contracts • What are you selling? • Work environment • Hardware, software, tools
    10. 10. TYPES OF STRUCTURE • LLC •C Corp •S Corp • Sole proprietor • Other?
    11. 11. FIND A GOOD LAWYER
    12. 12. FIND A GOOD ACCOUNTANT
    13. 13. WHAT TYPE OF WORK? • Services • Hourly or fixed price? • Products • Software As A Service • Desktop Applications
    14. 14. CONTRACTS Using your own vs Using the client’s
    15. 15. CONTRACTS Have clear definitions of work to be done and how to determine when you’re “done”
    16. 16. CONTRACTS Consider accepting or offering changes
    17. 17. TOOLS getting the job done
    18. 18. HARDWARE Laptop Multiple monitors Printers Fax? Extra batteries Cables / adapters Carrier bag
    19. 19. SOFTWARE BASICS Invoicing Time tracking Screen sharing Ticketing / issue system
    20. 20. DEVELOPER SOFTWARE Are you still using Notepad? :)
    21. 21. DEVELOPER SOFTWARE IDEs Debuggers Version control
    22. 22. DESIGNER SOFTWARE Adobe still rules Photoshop Dreamweaver GIMP still works for some :)
    23. 23. SMARTPHONE? Time tracking Invoicing Presentations Voice calls!
    24. 24. FINDING CLIENTS
    25. 25. NETWORKIN’ Local events Regional events Chamber of Commerce User groups
    26. 26. JOB BOARDS Monster / HotJobs Craigslist Authentic Jobs Indeed.com SimplyHired.com
    27. 27. WORK SITES ODesk Elance Guru.com
    28. 28. BEING FINDABLE
    29. 29. MAIN SITE Profile site - main hub Contact information Link to portfolio, resume, blog
    30. 30. PORTFOLIO Designed sites, samples Code samples or links to projects
    31. 31. SOCIAL MEDIA LinkedIn Facebook Twitter StackOverflow etc
    32. 32. GETTING PAID What we’re all doing this for :)
    33. 33. RATES Will vary by region Don’t forget taxes! Keep competitive
    34. 34. RATES US Example Original rate $50/hour -15.3% SE Tax $42.35 -20% Income Tax $33.88 1200 billable hrs $40,656
    35. 35. INVOICING Terms
    36. 36. INVOICE LIKE CLOCKWORK! Weekly? Bi weekly? Never get too far behind
    37. 37. MAKING IT EASY TO PAY PayPal, Google Checkout, paper checks
    38. 38. COLLECTIONS! Arbitration, small claims court Should you hire a collections firm?
    39. 39. REPEAT! Keeping the cycle going
    40. 40. MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME Multiple clients Multiple projects Recurring revenue (hosting, content sites?)
    41. 41. BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK Find like-minded people to support you
    42. 42. QUESTIONS?
    43. 43. THANK YOU Michael Kimsal @mgkimsal michaelkimsal.com 919.827.4724

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