Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finding Software Projects

Image representing oDesk as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Places to find free software projects who need developers/project managers?
It's absolutely true that FOSS projects also need tasks completed that normally fall under the category of 'Project Managment', but I'm aware of no FOSS project actively looking for a person to fill specifically and only that roll. I think the perception of it being a separate beast from coding is largely a paradigm of the corporate world, which doesn't hold as true for FOSS.
How to find leads for outsourced software development projects?
There's also contracting web sites (my preferred as an employer is ODesk), but the competition is very high on those..... Aside from basic lead generation such as websites, blogs, and social media, I would try monitoring developer and tech communities for individuals/companies who may be looking for a developer. It always seems to me that there's someone "looking for a developer" to help them build an application, or at least give advice. .... The competition is large. Sites like Odesk, Elance and Guru have thousands similar to you. .... I would look for a way to make friendships or partnerships with western companies. .... Hanging around at and helping others with useful answers might be one good strategy. Go where your potential customers are and make yourself useful. Get a reputation and leads will follow.
How do I get software development projects?
Sites like focus mostly on small websites ..... joining the local user groups, meeting the other nerds in your area, and making a significant effort to find local folks with interesting development projects in your area .... local nerd meetup, linux meetup, etc, will help you network. Check out for your area. ..... you need to anticipate being extremely busy (sometimes) and extremely worried about the mortgage (pretty often). .... you might need some of those small projects to build your client base. If you do a good job on a small projects, they're more likely to call you back for help with a bigger project ..... I've found all my clients but one through word-of-mouth. The one not through word of mouth was through craigslist. Craigslist has been pretty good for me, though ..... Most of my contracts come from former co-workers who have moved on or word of mouth from those folks, so maybe you need more time to network (as suggested above) but also to have a larger pool of colleagues to call upon. At points I've had way more work than I could do (and have passed on to other former colleagues) all from work contacts. ..... Make sure you have a well-tended profile on sites like Linkedin is the professional side of facebook-type networking ......... In my own freelancing career I've found that a lot of companies like to outsource work to people in their local area with whom they can meet face-to-face. It's worth researching the businesses of all sizes within easy travelling distance that do the kind of work you'd be interested in pursuing. Call them for a chat if you can, and arrange to visit when they're not too busy. Explain that you can bring in additional expertise if necessary. A face-to-face meeting is your chance to impress these people with your professionalism. Leave them with a comprehensive resumé/CV and follow any meeting up with a call a week later. A lot of businesses seem very reluctant to farm out work to unknown individuals on the internet - that fear can be used to your advantage. ........ Make sure you have a professional-looking web presence - not necessarily to bring in work, but to add to the overall appearance that you're a serious, professional freelancer/contractor. ..... the briefest glance at the going rates on bottom-scraper sites like elance, rent-a-coder, etc should instantly confirm that they're a waste of your time. ..... the vast majority of my work still -- even a decade after I went freelance -- comes at least indirectly via people I worked with back when I worked in an office. This is by far your best bet, especially if you want to be working on larger projects than are commonly available on job boards. ....... enterprise-level work tends to go more to contractor agencies than to lone freelancers. (And IMHO working for a contractor agency is not dissimilar from just working directly for the corporation.)
Outsource Software Projects
How to Get a Software Development Job
Seek available software development jobs on company websites
How to Get Freelance Software Development Jobs
The easiest way to find software development jobs is to search freelance jobs websites. Most of the major job boards include a category for software development that you should bookmark and check every day.
Softdevjobs (
IFreelance (
GoFreelance (
Flexjobs (
Indeed (
Freelance BBS (
You'll also be more competitive if you can include a link to your online portfolio for employers to view. Don't procrastinate with submitting an application when you find jobs, because your competitors may get jobs for being among the first qualified job candidates to apply. ...... Make and establish contacts at large corporations, and ask for work. It's easier said than done ... Use social media to engage in conversations with those who outsource work
Attend a local seminar or lecture put on by the corporation and network with employers
Send a letter of introduction and a business card and ask for a telephone meeting ...... Don't expect them to give you work the first time you ask, but you'll be top of mind if you stay in contact, when there's a need for your skills.
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