Saturday, August 23, 2008

Freelancing Info!


While Freelancing is in vogue since early nineties it is only in the last two decades that it has come up in a such a big way that certain areas as journalism, content development, software development, business documentation, coaching or creative services have totally or largely been taken over as freelancers. Freelancing today has become largest economic segment in many countries.

Freelancing can, in a small way, be compared with off shoring of your business requirements. Freelancing initially picked up due to high wage rate difference between developing and the developed countries, however today you can have freelancers from affluent countries as well. As the confidence index of buying on the net increased, freelancing has never looked back. Though there is no exact documentation of the extent of its business volume, a compilation of various figures as released by major sites suggest it to be any where upwards of US 100 million per annum.

With freelancing, gone are the days when each business house had to have every type of skill set in-house. A free lancer is just a mouse click away, ready to do your job at most reasonable prices. With freelancing, a business house no longer needs to invest money in discovering and training staff members.

The progress and advancement of this industry can be gauged from the fact that some companies like oDesk have developed software that can allow your employer to monitor progress of your work online, and even takes periodic screenshots of your desktop. This is very helpful development which has helped in developing confidence in bidders to offer critical assignments to freelancers.

Typically a freelancer is a one man show. He would lack expertise to accept all types of assignments. A new variant of freelancing is emerging where a group of freelancers work under one umbrella to pool in their talent to be one stop supplier of all services. However this typically does not fall under definition of freelancing.

Why Freelancing?

Compared to costs of a regular worker, freelancing is known to have cut operating costs by more than 60%. Today, in the competitive marketplace, many projects are simply not affordable with regular employees that are entitled to sick pay, insurance costs, holiday pay etc. Besides, with freelancers you can select from vast variety of skill-sets, have no permanent business liability and are easier to hire and fire.

Freelancing has many social benefits too as it has eliminated the racism, discrimination. Today nobody is bothered about the color of your skin or your sexual orientation.

How does it work?

There are many ways to float a job for a freelancer; however internet remains the most favorable medium. There are many sites on the net that allow floating of a job for freelancing at a small commission. If you are looking for a freelancer, you can ask for specimen of their previous projects. Both the parties can check the ratings earned by other party on previous assignments.

Remuneration Structure

Remuneration at freelancing job is at fraction of wages of regular worker and can cut costs by more than 60% compared to the salary of regular worker.

Payment for freelance work varies greatly. Depending upon the assignment and the skill set, Freelancers may charge by the day or hour, flat fee or even based on milestones or outcomes.

As credit history of a freelancer builds up, he may command a higher price but new entrants generally have to underbid to gain foothold in this industry. This circle goes on endlessly where sometimes even established players are also forced to cut their rates.

Some pitfalls in Freelancing

There is no entry qualification for a freelancer and any body with some talent and spare time at hand can work as freelancer. This has resulted in some pseudo-professionals who have scant regard for copyright violations or other legal issues. Such people often are unable to deliver the assignment to the satisfaction of their client which can lead to delay in completion of the project. For beginners, it does not ensure a steady stream of income.

Freelancing work is often on a project-by-project basis. If you think you have a talent and some time available, you may think of supplementing your income as a freelancer.

Why Learn Programming Languages?

I keep getting asked the same question: Why should I bother learning programming languages, or even want to know how to program?The answer is probably only applicable in layers - casual, part-time, professional - and different people want different things.

Casual Programmers

People who need to start doing some software programming to help in their occupation, plus those who just want to know how to program.

Part-Time Programmers

Those who offer custom services such as web programming and custom application programming on the side.


Anyone who is just getting started with programming, or who has had a first experience and needs to address a new technology.

There are also 5 very good ways to earn real money doing software programming, and this could be a great motivator in itself.

Custom Web Programming Services

People use the internet and want applications that are internet-ready. If a programmer can provide custom web programming services, and understand what the client really wants from it, then they will be able to offer those services on the general market.

Software Programming

Pure software programming means making applications for the end user. There is still quite a lot of business to be done in this area, although it may be being slowly eroded by open source software programming services.

Programming Training

Offering assistance to would-be programmers, especially in web programming and full software programming is very lucrative. Consider also bundling your knowledge up into interactive e-courses for the general public as an information product, and it could be a winner.

Freelance Programming

Building applications for third parties to resell is not as lucrative as other forms of programming services. However, freelance programming can bring in high usage and sale royalties if the deal is structured properly. Also freelance web programming projects are easy to come by on online talent auction web sites like RentACoder and eLance.

Programming Help

Offering on-demand programming help to people who have been burned by outsourced customer software programming projects (including web programming projects) is a good area to get started in. It can help to build a solid reputation.

Until next time;

Happy Coding!

PHP versus ASP comparison


PHP is cheaper to implement than ASP.


PHP gives us additional capability than if we were to code with ASP.

“Open Source”

We are strong proponents of the “Open Source” movement. Open source software is a collaborative effort amongst a worldwide community of volunteer programmers with a passion for technology. People of disparate backgrounds and experiences join together to solve problems in new ways, thus resulting in better software.

Open source software is free to use, copy, and modify, which makes it a great deal for our clients.

It is also highly flexible, because it allows us to extend the software and customize it for our clients’ requirements.

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel when we embark on a project for a client, as there is an amazingly extensive library of software written in PHP that’s free and available in source code form. Whenever possible, we repurpose our own extensive code library. But if we haven’t already built a similar web application before, we look for the best open source software to meet the functional requirements and pick up where that software left off. Adding such enhancements and customizations to the software’s source code wouldn’t be possible with proprietary closed-source software.

There are no requirements to purchase commercial licenses and pay continuously for upgrades. For example, to perform binary file uploads, retrieve a file via FTP or HTTP, encrypt passwords in MD5, or send email from a Web page require 3rd party commercial software packages in ASP. It’s all available for free in PHP.

PHP is platform-agnostic

It will run on Linux, Solaris, Windows, and other operating systems as well. With ASP you’re also forced down a path that is very costly and painful to extricate yourself from. For example, what if you wanted to switch web hosting providers to one that was more reliable and had better customer service but was Linux-based? ASP only runs reliably on Microsoft Windows-based web servers.

PHP is the most popular web programming language on the planet

It’s more popular than ASP, Cold Fusion, Perl, or any other web programming language.

All else being equal, PHP is faster than ASP

ASP supports multiple programming languages. This architecture is inherently slower and more memory intensive that PHP’s model because each ASP language compiler runs in its own process. So when ASP detects a Begin ASP tag () it will do a context switch back to the HTML parser.

PHP is secure

IIS Server is notorious for its security holes.

Coding in PHP is more efficient than in ASP

Typically the same functionality can be accomplished in less code with PHP than with ASP. This is because the HTTP GET and POST variables are created automatically by PHP as global variables, thus eliminating the step of extracting them from the ASP Request object. PHP’s HTTP header manipulation functions are easier to use than in ASP.

by Stephan Spencer