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Companies Find Tech Talent in Robust Freelance Market


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Attendees working on an Apple Inc. laptop computer participate in the Yahoo! Inc. Mobile Developer Conference Hackathon in New York in 2015.

A new class of private marketplace connecting software developers with corporations eager to hire those with the latest tech skills appears to attract mostly young, freelance coders.

Credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg News

A new approach to hiring people with the latest technology skills has emerged in Silicon Valley and other markets that attract young, freelance coders. Companies are turning to private marketplaces of software developers to assemble teams for specific projects.

Organizations can use the marketplaces to quickly find the skills they need without having to take on the long-term financial obligations of hiring permanent, full-time employees.

Although freelancers do not get the benefits of full-time employees, they make more money. For example, San Francisco-based Scalable Path, which manages more than 1,000 freelance coders, says a talented freelancer can earn $100 to $200 an hour. The firm says clients have been willing to pay software architects $145 an hour, and assuming a 40-hour workweek for 48 weeks, a freelancer could gross $278,400 a year.

Elite coders are building their careers this way. "I can make much more money working as a freelancer and picking and choosing my clients around the world and working remotely," says Kris Wallsmith, a 35-year-old freelance developer in Portland, OR.

Some of the skills in highest demand are expertise in the Big Data technology Hadoop, and JavaScript.

From The Wall Street Journal
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