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For whom do you do most of your programming?

A full-time employer
64% (526 votes)
Contracting/consulting clients
16% (130 votes)
Educational coursework
5% (40 votes)
Yourself
15% (120 votes)
Other (please comment)
1% (5 votes)
Total votes: 821

Comments

Uh Huh...

Wasting precious company time here... wouldn't have it any other way with Java :-)

Other.

Self-employed, work with an investor, help define and prototype for new product areas.

The concept of a full-time employee is safe, but not nearly as fun. As a friend once said, the worst day as self-employed is better than the best day as an employee. [BTW: My wife disagrees. :-) ]

"Safe"?

What's so safe about being full-time anyways? All the small tech companies I've worked for or known about seemed to be perpetually downsizing, and few last very long. Even in the best case, I'd be changing health plans and commutes every year or so as I hopped from doomed company to doomed company. Plus, contracting is more honest - it's clear you're in it for the money and they're in it for the output... it doesn't require an exchange of lies about the employer caring about the employee's well-being or vice versa.

Not all companies are bad.

As a full-time employe I also disagree. I work for a small company, but I'm not thinking of the "safety" factor. I'm thinking of the benefits of working in a team. Something I got from working for this company are the things I've learned from my workmates. The nice environment and interesting feedback and criticism have been really to good to make me a better programmer.

Not all companies are bad.

"I am a full-time employee" and "it allows me to work on a team" really follow. 80% of the time as a contractor, you are working with teams... even more importantly, you work on so many different teams (depending on your goals and experience) and get to gain valuable experience of different business cultures as you go around. What I really like about contracting is the flexibility it allows me with directing my career goals, without basing it on some company structure.

Not all companies are bad.

"What I really like about contracting is the flexibility it allows me with directing my career goals, without basing it on some company structure." And without having to ever maintain any of the systems you help build. That's the real piece-of-mind. ;-)

Other.

Personally I'd rather have the relative safety of a reasonably reliable source of income than the constant uncertainty whether I'll still have a roof over my head next month...

Sure the work when self-employed may be more diverse, but that brings with it potentially long periods of unemployment without any financial assistance (unemployment benefits etc.).