Independence - Statue of Liberty
Rhyd Lewis
Rhyd Lewis Former Partner

Our Thinking Thu 7th July, 2016

Independence – the best way to work

With Independence Day having just been celebrated in the US – and our New York office on the lookout for skilled, experienced developers – it’s a good time to look at why the majority of Equal Experts consultants work with us as independent contractors (ICs).

For those used to permanent employment, it can seem a big leap to ‘go it alone’, but that’s the beauty of working with us – you get the best of both worlds. As well as all the benefits that come with offering your skills as a contractor, you’re also part of the Equal Experts network.

That said, it’s good to know what the pros and cons of being an independent contractor actually are; there are many competing truths and myths regarding the benefits and drawbacks of being a contractor. With that in mind, we thought it might be useful to set things straight.

Be your own boss

Put simply, independent contracting (or freelancing) means you work for yourself. You provide your own equipment (usually just a laptop). You define how to manage your workload, and how you complete that workload. You’re self-employed (which means working under a 10-99 or corp-to-corp model in the USA; sole trader or limited company in the UK).

At Equal Experts, we work with with over 500 people worldwide, of which a high percentage are ICs (in the UK, it’s 84%).  We believe working as an independent contractor is a highly rewarding approach, both professionally and financially, and usually provides the following advantages:

  • The rewards are greater – remuneration is significantly higher than for the same role taken as a permanent position
  • Increased flexibility – you are your own boss, so you have freedom to work on what you want, and decide how you complete it
  • More variety – since you work with different companies on different assignments
  • Increased business deductions – since you are your own business.

They’re the headline benefits, but by working as an IC in conjunction with Equal Experts you’ll enjoy even more – since you’ll be joining the unique working culture in our growing New York office. This means:

  • No leveraged teams: you’ll always be working alongside other senior people – so your skills will continue to be tested (and will continue to improve)
  • Working with the best tools for the job – including open source technology
  •  Not being tied to one programming language; we’re a company of polyglots
  •  No playbook, no restrictive process; it’s up to you and the rest of your team to work out the best way to solve the client’s problem
  •  We love making software, not micro-managing people; with us, you can focus on creating great products
  •  A clear focus on end-to-end product management and delivery (not body shopping)
  •  You’ll have the satisfaction of working on projects that make a real difference to our clients’ businesses.

If you’re thinking of making the switch to independent contracting (or returning to it), it’s obviously important not to forget the tax and accounting overheads. You’ll also have to set up your own benefits, such as medical cover and other insurance payments. But these are areas where the Equal Experts community comes into its own; everyone has plenty of insight to share.

With all that in mind, we believe the positives of freelancing far outweigh the pitfalls –  especially for the kind of skilled, experienced software developers that work with us.

With greater rewards, more satisfying work and a diverse (yet like-minded) working culture on offer, the Equal Experts community is growing fast – do get in touch if you’d like to learn more about the opportunities available.