Thread: First time freelancer, unsure what to charge for this

  1. #1
    Registered User Chris87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    First time freelancer, unsure what to charge for this

    I was approached the other day by a guy who says he has 10 months C++ experience as opposed to my 10+ years experience, and asked me if I'd be willing to write him a small text-based role playing game. He gave me the specs and what he had done so far -- or rather, what a former guy did for him until he passed away mid-project, and tells me he's willing to pay me for my work. However, not having done freelance coding before, I'm not sure what to charge.

    While I don't want to show any of the code just yet, I took a look at what this guy had and it looks written in C++03 with some rather bad coding habits such as multiple boolean type variables. I'm currently recoding it to be C++14 and use bitflags (I find std::bitset combined with an enum for index identification to be a bit easier than plain ints) before I start looking at what needs to be done.

    Considering the size of the code this guy has already, and what he wants done, it's about 2-3 weeks worth of work. So my question is, given those considerations, what would be a good price for that?
    Last edited by Chris87; 05-28-2016 at 04:31 PM.

  2. #2
    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    The edge of the known universe
    As a rough guide, your gross annual salary divided by 1000 should be your hourly rate as a freelancer.
    So if you're on 50,000 per annum (before any deductions and tax), your hourly rate would be 50 per hour.
    This is for the UK, the scale factors may be different in your locality.

    > it's about 2-3 weeks worth of work.
    So for some easy maths, let's say it's 100 hours of work.
    Now you're looking at say 5K to do the work if you were to charge a normal contract rate.

    Now the downsides.
    You'll have to pay tax on that, not to mention dealing with all the other things that governments like to put in the way of entrepreneurs.
    If you're a salaried employee, then you need to check your employment contract regarding outside work (how much do they own your @ss).

    If you were already set up to do freelance work, had the time to do this, and your 'client' was willing to pay your rate, then there wouldn't be an issue.

    But if you're a salaried employee somewhere else, doing this for anything other than "beer money" is likely not make it worth your while in the long run.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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