Nicoară Talpeș

data scientist and machine learning engineer

How to plan ahead as a freelancer

This post represents a lesson I learned in how to have the right expectations ahead of a job.

I have built iOS apps for two local clients this year.

The contracts we agreed on from the start required me to deliver the source code after I finished coding all the functionality. After I delivered and the contracts reached their conclusion, it came time for the recipients to publish the apps on the App Store. But neither client proceeded with this. And I was given no solid reason as to why.

For this reason, I am advocating a change in communication before undertaking a project.

I believe developers are stakeholders in the projects they are involved in. Moreover, for a freelancer, a win-win means having users for the software he builds, so he can add this to his resume. Personally I don't work just for money - one of my inner motivations is to make the world more efficient through the code I write.

To avoid being left out of the effects of one's work as a freelancer, I advise adding to the initial contract a stipulation. If the app will be delivered functional to the client, then it has to be published on the App Store within a certain agreed time frame ; otherwise an additional payment should be made as reparation.

For this reason, freelancers more than other developers, need to invest themselves in personal projects. Having personal apps on the App Store would minimize dependence on others to showcase one's work.

Another way to minimise exposure to unexpected results is to continuously search for new clients. Even during a job, marketing online and talking to new people is a good habit. And as all good habits, they're better to start sooner rather than later.

Posted on October 1, 2017