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Hidden Pitfalls of Going Freelance in IT

If you love IT and technology but do not love a desk job, then making the jump into freelancing sounds like a very attractive option. Are you ready to manage all the caveats that come with that newfound freedom though? In an article for CIO magazine, Bob Violino collects insights from experts who have been down that road and prepares you for what to expect in the world of IT freelancing.

Plotting Past Peril

In the first place, a great deal of IT freelance work is done remotely, which is great for you—but a point of concern for businesses considering hiring your services. You need to be able to have them build trust in you quickly. This might mean traveling on-site to sell yourself and/or inspire buy-in at the beginning.

Another hurdle to overcome is the minefield of non-negotiable contracts that will pile up. Essentially, most employers offer non-negotiable contracts to freelancers that dictate what sort of work they can and cannot do, as far as non-compete clauses go. This means you will have to be rigorous about ensuring that concurrent jobs do not violate other jobs you are doing or have recently done.

A third factor to remember is one that plagues IT in general—technology is always changing, and not enough businesses appreciate the challenges inherent in IT. Nonetheless, it is up to you to keep your skills current.

One more pitfall to acknowledge is how to reconcile agile development with fixed-bid contracts:

…  for freelancers, there remains a major disconnect between traditional fixed-bid contracting and agile software development projects, [Damien Filiatrault, CEO and founder of Scalable Path] says. “Lots of time needs to be spent up front specifying functionality and scope before work even begins on a fixed-bid project,” he says. …

Working in agile, where the client’s objectives evolve over time, is hamstrung by the fixed-bid contract. “The contractor wants to keep scope locked down as opposed to working in tandem with the client to evolve [the software]in a more collaborative way,” Filiatrault says. “Constant change orders to a fixed bid are tedious. In modern software development, it’s best for the software contractor to work on an hourly basis rather than on fixed contract price.”

Are you ready to make the leap now? For a couple more issues to keep on top of, you can view the original article here: http://cio.com/article/3204245/careers-staffing/the-hidden-pitfalls-of-going-freelance-in-it.html

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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