How does freelance software development contracting in US differ from that in the UK
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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by vetran View Post
    MF has been to the other place......
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMarkyMark View Post
    Contracting's considered a very poor mans option in the US compared to perm.

    HTH.

    Having been a Director out of the US who used contractors I can add some insight on this.

    Contracting in the US is very different to the UK.

    In the UK there is a really good benefit to operating as a contractor. You tend to find really good candidates who have a wide range of business and IT skills, as well as really strong niche skills.
    Because it's more beneficial from a tax perspective, UK contractors can earn more and tend to be much better than a lot of permie equivalents.

    This is not true when it comes to US contractors. In the US, companies prefer to hire top notch individuals and reward them with good salaries and especially equity. In tech companies, equity which vests a year after you start and carries on can be more than the salary.
    This is because the US operates under 'employment at will', which effectively means they can let you go when they want, and vice versa you can just walk out. Mostly though you are 2 weeks out of courtesy. To stop this they like to tie the best candidates in.

    US contractors tend to be a pure niche skill and tend to be those individuals who just cannot seem to get a full time job. This means they're not that good.

    Having tried to hire US contractors who had my skillsets, or the skills I wanted, I received a lot of resumes of mediocre individuals. They all came via agencies. Monster was used quite a lot and one other board which I forget (remind me).
    Of the resumes I received, most were at a much higher expected rate than normal. So for example a Tableau developer I had came in at $100 per hour (that was 60 an hour at the time, with the change in currency, that's closer to 80). With he change in currency I reckon the rates would be much higher.
    Obviously being a US citizen or Green card holder is the only way.

    It's not a big contract market, and as I said most companies don't bother because they an fire you anyway or lay off staff when they want (It's not Europe), so a smaller market.

    Let us know how you get on
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  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarillionFan View Post
    Having been a Director out of the US who used contractors I can add some insight on this.

    Contracting in the US is very different to the UK.

    In the UK there is a really good benefit to operating as a contractor. You tend to find really good candidates who have a wide range of business and IT skills, as well as really strong niche skills.
    Because it's more beneficial from a tax perspective, UK contractors can earn more and tend to be much better than a lot of permie equivalents.

    This is not true when it comes to US contractors. In the US, companies prefer to hire top notch individuals and reward them with good salaries and especially equity. In tech companies, equity which vests a year after you start and carries on can be more than the salary.
    This is because the US operates under 'employment at will', which effectively means they can let you go when they want, and vice versa you can just walk out. Mostly though you are 2 weeks out of courtesy. To stop this they like to tie the best candidates in.

    US contractors tend to be a pure niche skill and tend to be those individuals who just cannot seem to get a full time job. This means they're not that good.

    Having tried to hire US contractors who had my skillsets, or the skills I wanted, I received a lot of resumes of mediocre individuals. They all came via agencies. Monster was used quite a lot and one other board which I forget (remind me).
    Of the resumes I received, most were at a much higher expected rate than normal. So for example a Tableau developer I had came in at $100 per hour (that was 60 an hour at the time, with the change in currency, that's closer to 80). With he change in currency I reckon the rates would be much higher.
    Obviously being a US citizen or Green card holder is the only way.

    It's not a big contract market, and as I said most companies don't bother because they an fire you anyway or lay off staff when they want (It's not Europe), so a smaller market.

    Let us know how you get on
    Really good insight, especially the 'employment at will' part I didn't know, makes a lot of sense

    My experience was the same, I couldn't get contract guys with the BI skills in New York I needed.
    I won't go into too much detail with what I ended up with

    I have worked with some top US IT guys however, and they have all been perm, with total respect from other guys, tech and non-tech in the organisation.
    Usually with good reason, ties up with what MF said.



    PS - Canada may be better?
    Last edited by MrMarkyMark; 27th February 2017 at 15:37. Reason: poorer English than usual

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarillionFan View Post
    Having been a Director out of the US who used contractors I can add some insight on this.

    Contracting in the US is very different to the UK.
    Quick question> Is it the US that is strange or is it the UK...

    Ask as current clientco has a lot of UK contractors as the UK is the only country they can find them in...
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    Quick question> Is it the US that is strange or is it the UK...

    Ask as current clientco has a lot of UK contractors as the UK is the only country they can find them in...
    I cannot comment for the rest of the Europe. It does seem more of a UK thing, but would probably need some input from some others. But if you look at the likes of NAT, Darmstadt and Scooterscot, then I'd assume that the rest of Europe is as tulip as the US as well.
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    Most if my clients are in the US, although I don't work in IT, so I'm not sure how far the analogies go.

    First, and I almost hate to ask you this question, but do you have a cross-border tax expert that's helping with your US filing? Being a US citizen and a director of a Foreign Controlled Corporation is a notorious nightmare in terms of your reporting requirements (dreaded Subpart F etc.). If you're not aware of this, oh dear... If you are, great

    Second, the market is completely different. The only way I get contracts in the US is through tendering (generally in a consortium of with one or more US-based companies) or through word of mouth. There's no equivalent to the general-purpose contracting market (mediated by agencies) that you'll find in the UK, partly because US employment protections are much weaker. That being said, there's definitely a contract market for niche skills.

    Finally, in terms of the contracts themselves, they tend to be unnecessarily long and technical, but generally editable (depends on whether it's an SME or larger enterprise and how much they need you). One thing they rarely budge on is jurisdiction and governing law, so you need good insurance in place (the US is always an exclusion in default UK policies), because it's a bloody litigious society! They are ordinary commercial contracts and, for the same reason, the templates you get won't talk about things like "substitution" as distinct from subcontracting, but IR35 applies as normal, so get everything reviewed.

    Otherwise, if you can get the work, fill yer boots. They don't mind paying for skills and the USD is strong at present.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    It differs in the following ways....

    You've got to group hug at the end of meetings
    You've got to high 5/fist bump every 30 minutes
    You've got to order your skinny vanilla mocha frappuchino by saying 'Can I get a...'
    You've got to call everyone 'dude'

    HTH
    and instead of saying "Can you do such and such?" it's "I need you to do such and such".

    Yanks seem to be very needy these days, or just pompous and officious.
    Work in the public sector? Read the IR35 FAQ here

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarillionFan View Post
    US contractors tend to be a pure niche skill and tend to be those individuals who just cannot seem to get a full time job. This means they're not that good. ...
    Or perhaps in some cases they are good but have interpersonal or major hygiene issues, such as never washing or shaving.
    Work in the public sector? Read the IR35 FAQ here

  8. #18

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    I did read somewhere recently that the Yanks are the worst in world for not taking any vacation time.

    Stems from the paranoia that you won't be missed and someone else will do you job better.

    qh
    He had a negative bluety on a quackhandle and was quadraspazzed on a lifeglug.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    I think you need a US site to answer those questions. How would people in the UK know the details of how contracting works in the States?
    Guys in the UK don't know how contracting works in the UK, let alone the states

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    It differs in the following ways....

    You've got to group hug at the end of meetings
    You've got to high 5/fist bump every 30 minutes
    You've got to order your skinny vanilla mocha frappuchino by saying 'Can I get a...'
    You've got to call everyone 'dude'

    HTH
    Everything/everyone is 'awesome'.
    You have to 'git stash' your sense of humour ('humor').

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