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Employed vs. Self Employed | Reply
i would like to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of being self employed and being employed by some reputed company. what factors should we consider when deciding should we accept a job or go for establishing a small business. Also kindly mention the kind of businesses a computer engineer can go for.
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by abhi_coder) | Reply
If you want to earn money like your friend you can give a try to do some design and development contest at topcoder site. They give at least 500$ to the winner.
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by abhi_coder) | Reply
Really, I'm very much curious to know which website offered ur friend $3000 for an excel utility ?
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by sb99) | Reply
There are two projects-for-cash sites that I know of -
www.rentacoder.com and www.getacoder.com
& there's likely many more. I'm not sure of the trustworthyness of these sites, or how they work exactly, but they seem ok if you've got spare time and want some money for your code. There seem to be many PHP / ASP / web-based projects, possibly as people's homework.
It'd be interesting if TC signed up for some - I'm sure there'd be a few web applications or java/C# projects that could be made up almost entirely from TCS catalog.
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by sql_lall) | Reply
I used to do work on RentACoder occasionally, and it's a fairly well run, fairly reputable organization. One drawback though, particularly if you're in the US, is that it's very hard to find projects (and win the bids more importantly) at a reasonable price point. It seemed as though low bids were dominated by members from a few countries who could afford to do the projects for very low cost.

There were definitely a fair number of homework help type projects, most of which had a very low dollar value, and were also very simple. As a general rule, I refrained from bidding on them for ethical reasons.

Some other recurring project types were making automated tools to process/hit a web site repeatedly (to scrape info, etc.), writing javascript code to serve ads/popups (using various tricks to prevent the user from closing the window), and writing programs to "read" the text from an image displayed in a web browser (I'd later learn that this was on a web site where reading the text was a turing test to prevent automated ticket purchasing...)

So, I guess my overall point is that the site itself is legit, but as for the actual work being offered, your milage may vary.

As for TC doing the projects, I think the expected quality is much less than what TC truly offers, and likewise, the expected price is much less than what it would cost for TC to do the projects.
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by sql_lall) | Reply
I know about these sites and already had a look a long back. I dont think one can get $3000 for a simple project. Unless, the site sells ur project/component to multiple clients (On the same lines as TC does).
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by sb99) | Reply
At the end of the day, TCS will have probably put more than $3000 into its implementation of a very simple Excel Utility (version 1).

Of course, it's not the same thing and it's not all going to one person...
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by abhi_coder) | Reply
I meant to comment on this yesterday, and ended up forgetting.

I'd cite a few advantages for working for a bigger company. The first is obviously benefits (especially medical) and a dependable paycheck. In general, you have really flexible vacation in a big company, and relatively reasonable hours. If you work for a large software company, you probably have even more flexibility in the area of taking time off, because there are other people who can help do your job if you're gone. On the other hand, if you join a small engineering part of a non-software company (like a bank or something), you have the advantage of not having to worry about having lots of dependencies.

Now, I'll add that when my father graduated from college (with a MS in Computer Science), he had two primary options on where to go. He could start up a new company with a professor and classmate of his, or he could take a job in the R&D department of AT&T (this is when AT&T was the end-all of American telecommunications). On the one hand, he had the small chance of being really successful, and on the other, he had stability, benefits, and lots of opportunities for growth. Now that he's retired from AT&T, did he regret not having been there when the new company became WordPerfect? Not really.
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by Kawigi) | Reply
As a dude working in a small company, I like the smaller companies. You really make an impact, and you get to know everyone. You learn more too, because you'll be asked to do more..
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by Larry) | Reply
I suppose there's a difference in the kind of impact you make at a small company vs. a large company. I, of course, love the feeling of seeing people use software I wrote and liking what they can do with the software (why do you think I put so much effort into supporting all four languages supported by TC in KawigiEdit, when I use Java almost exclusively?)

In a small company, you make a huge impact on the finished product, but the magnitude of people who enjoy that contribution is smaller. In my job, I might make a much less noticeable impact (I'm actually lucky right now to be working on something relatively high-profile and noticeable, but putting that aside), but we have such a huge customer base that there are more people on our beta than use most software at all. But I definitely don't think that working for a larger company is inherently better, especially as far as working environment.
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by sb99) | Reply
The website did not pay him that amount, but in a short span of time many companies demanded for similar products which he could provide them with minor changes to the original product
Re: Employed vs. Self Employed (response to post by abhi_coder) | Reply
You do not go into business without a business model. If you don't have a clear idea of who your customer is, what you're selling, and how you're marketing it to them, you'll fail.

Bumming around the project-oriented sites like Guru.com is also a bad idea. If you're in the US, you'll never finance a US standard of living that way. You're competing against India prices.

Independent consulting (without the support of a consulting firm or placement agency) is impossible entry-level. You don't have trusted relationships to call upon to get business. And vendors get abused. You'd be surprised how hard it is just to get paid on time.

Unless you have a really great product, work for a company. Getting a small company gig is preferable, since you'll have more opportunity for growth and you'll be asked to do more. But small companies rely much more on personal relationships and chemistry. If you can't get in one, a large company is OK. You get a steady paycheck.
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