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Finding iPhone Work

I’ve been developing software for quite a while. Most of that time has been spent working for The Man. Places like Nortel, Corel, Alias, Cognos, and IBM. So when it came time to finding work, things were pretty simple. My boss gave me work, and I did it.

I became a freelance/contract developer last year. So now I have to find my own work. I don’t want to work on anything that’s not iPhone (or maybe Android) related. So I scour the boards looking for people who are looking for me. It’s tough. Many people looking for iPhone work fall into one of two camps:

1) People who want to hire you on site, full time.
2) People who want to split the profits “50/50″.

I have no intention of moving away from lovely Ottawa, and even if I did, I would try to find a place even nicer, and try to work from there. So moving to an arbitrary location to do work for a company is not in the cards.

As to people who want to split profits 50/50, I have two problems with that. One, it’s not really a 50/50 split. Remember that Apple gets their cut, so the split is actually 30/35/35. So I would do almost all of the work for 35% of the proceeds? No thank you. Two, I don’t deal in speculation. I have a family to feed and house payments to make. I can’t afford to spend weeks or months of my time working on a project that may not bring in a dime.

So that leaves people who are willing to hire telecommuting iPhone developers who wish to get paid for time spent. Take that group, and then remove all the people who want to pay $20/hour. Frankly, any good developer that charges this much little is doing himself a disservice. Now what you have left is my target market.

It’s not easy to break into.

I figure that once I build up a portfolio of projects, I’ll be able to bring in projects easier. I think that the group of people looking for quality developers who are willing to pay what they’re worth is big enough for me. I just need to build the experience and reputation and repeat clients to continue making a living at this. So I’ve been spending a lot of time looking for projects, and every once in a while I find one.

Right now I’m finishing off a project, and I think I may have finally nailed the last bug. After seeing how much work I put into the project, I’m sure I underbid. But that’s all part of the learning process, I guess. Yesterday I put in a bid for another project, and I’m told that my bid is neither the lowest nor the highest. I like that. Frankly, if I bid the lowest, I probably underbid. If I bid the highest, I probably wouldn’t get the job. So I’m happy with my positioning.

Now I’m waiting for the phone to ring.

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