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Archive for November 2011

Nov/11

16

Blind Codes

Freelancers that are visually impaired – do they have what it takes to work successfully as a freelancer?

The short and full truth to this question is that this line of work suits the visually impaired perfectly as they tend to have to work for themselves in most cases. GetACoder Buyers embrace the opportunity to change the life of a blind person by hiring these workers.

Talking to blind programmers one immediately realize that they certainly fill a very important role in the computer and development industries as their work always ends up being sight impaired friendly – a support system that many sites do not offer to blind and sight impaired users. The blind programmer has so many tools to help him that his workflow is on par with that of seeing persons.

To enable the blind programmer to do his job, he first needs to decide what platform he will be working in. For every language like JAVA or C and C+, each has its own support that works best to enable the blind person to ‘see’ his screen. Voice programs keep the programmer focused by reading screen contents.

Windows XP also offers great support for the blind to read general screens and instructions or e-mails, but not all programmers use this as support during programming work. JAVA script coding gets better read by other programs like Jaws that in conjunction to Windows XP gives a free flow of information the programmer can use to keep his work flowing.

The programmer working on .net programming may look at Visual studio 2005 version as support. In this case, Jaws is used in conjunction with Visual studio to ensure a fast and clear workflow. Programmers working on forms a lot and other complex layouts, found this combination to be best suited for that purpose.

C and C++ programmers opt for Cygwin with gcc support as compiler. Editors like Emacs or VIM slots into this setup perfectly to enable fast and accurate work. This combination also gives the programmer easy access to USS subsystems hidden in mainframes of computers.

The voice support given by these options are by far not the only resources, but the efficiency of these editors andscreen readers came out tops after surveying blind programmers working at Google. Experience and new developments go hand in hand as the move towards better working conditions for sight impaired programmers got huge momentum after large companies decided to get involved.

For programmers working with mounts of text, filled with punctuation, voice readers are not always the best option and they again use their Braille displays to get that perfect script flowing.

No matter how you look at it – blind programmers are an asset to any company and can be employed with no constraints at all.

Carel Steyn writes for various sites on various topics. He is the voice behind Australia’s Bride Online website and also work as stylist / photographer in the food and interior world. Based in Melbourne Australia, this ex South African has an eye for detail and a love for people that can be seen in his photography, writing and personal life. Carel is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

15

Protect Your Best Assets, Your Eyes

No matter how important works are, your eyesight matters most. They are your best assets that must be protected. Here are some important reminders to all freelancers on GetACoder on how to protect their eyes from their day to day computer works.

Regular break interval – everyone’s desire to finish work on time may put their eyes at risk by forgetting to take breaks. If a machine needs to stop and cool down from time to time, so are your eyes. At present, very limited scientific evidence has been published on the best break interval to prevent computer related eye problems. However, it has been proven that supplemental breaks between hours of work can significantly lessen these problems. Some say that 10-minute break for every hour work is desirable. On the other hand, others claim that by just allowing your eye to focus on something other than your computer for 3 seconds every hour is guaranteed to protect your eyes.  In the absence of a clear and definitive break interval that is most effective, the best parameters are your eyes. If you feel that they are already tired it’s time to take a break.

Blink you eye as frequent as possible – there are several eye muscle exercises such as blinking, palming, zooming, etc. Out of these exercises, blinking is the easiest way to prevent eye muscles stress during long hours of computer works. It’s a natural eye exercise that many fail to realize its importance. Blinking also allows your eye to produce teardrop to lubricate your eyes. It also protects your eyes from irritants that may get worst if left unattended.

As natural as it can be, computer users tend to blink at lower interval once their minds are focus on something on their computer screen. This is why dry eyes are very common to many freelancers. To prevent such problem, try to blink your eye as often as you can. To remind you to do so, simply stick a post-it note in front you with the word ‘blink’.

Improved working conditions – most of eye problems associated with computer exposure are enhanced due topoor working condition. Adjusting the distance from your eye to your computer screen to 12 inches increases your eye protection. Reducing screen glare may also minimize stress on your eyes and protect them from developing the symptoms.  Adjusting your computer contrast to a more soothing and relaxing setting is necessary. Well proportioned light contrast between your computer and your surrounding must also be achieved.  Lastly, investing for a high resolution monitor might pay off in the future.

Hideliza as a PhD graduate in Agronomy, have written and published several technical papers. She started her career as technical and blog writer last January 2011. As a technical writer, she specializes on topics related to Agronomy and Soil Science and other related subjects. As a blog writer, she have written a number of topics from sports, fashion, dating, relationships, gardening to the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Hideliza is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

14

Should You Get on the Coach?

No, we are not talking about buses or even Craig T. Nelson! Coaches are becoming the norm when it comes to helping people with their life, their business and even their freelancing career. The purpose of these coaches is to fill you with a sense of confidence, point you in the right direction when it comes to career moves and find you the best clients, most lucrative rates and overall, just make your freelancing life better. So, are freelance coaches the real deal or an utter waste of time and money? Like most other things in life, the value for money available is entirely dependent on the person utilizing the service.

Are they Published?

If you are struggling on GetACoder and need advice, a coach may be a good option but it is important to carefully research the capabilities of any would-be coaches. Unfortunately, the coaching industry is devoid of regulation which means anyone can call themselves a ‘coach’ and get away with it. If you are looking for a really well-qualified coach, try the International Coach Federation who have their own selection of coaches with years of experience and are genuinely good at their job. Regardless of where you see a suitable coach, check out their website and qualifications. Coaches with an array of published material are a safe bet, those lacking such a portfolio are not. Coaches are expensive, don’t waste money on less than the very best.

An Odd Couple?

There is no point in spending a large sum of money if you end up with an unsuitable coach. It doesn’t matter how qualified they are, there is a possibility that they simply aren’t a good fit. To avoid making this mistake, arrange for a free consultation. This can take the form of a phone call and may last only a few minutes but it will give you an idea of how your personalities match or clash. Also, you will be able to see if they can help you with your goals. Coaches who refuse this free consultation are ones to avoid. If they can’t spare a few minutes to get a new client, they aren’t worth wasting time and money on.

Do You Even Need One?

You also need to decide if you need someone on the sidelines cheering you on or if you can dig yourself out of your rut. Occasionally, all you need is to re-educate yourself. Perhaps you will improve your prospects by just reading a few books that are relevant to your niche. You could be stagnating because you are behind the times. One thing that freelancing doesn’t reward is a reluctance to learn or change. It may be a better idea to spend a few dollars on some reading material instead of hundreds of dollars on a coach who won’t really help you. Take some time out and re-evaluate your goals. If a coach is the only way forward, get the best. Otherwise, work harder and smarter to get ahead.

An excellent writer, proficient in a variety of topics, Patrick Lynch has four years creative writing experience, which began in the National University of Ireland, Galway where he received a grade in the top 10 of his writing seminar.He is an editor for the University journal, ROPES, and is also a content writer for venusdatingmagazine.com, thirdage.com and kenetixcreativecontent.com. His fluent writing style has received high praise from several quarters. This, coupled with his attention to detail and propensity to complete a project well within any deadlines set, ensures that whomever hires him will be an extremely satisfied customer. Patrick is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

11

Kill The Meetings PLEASE

The whole idea of working through outsourcing platform GetACoder is so that you can be confident in hiring talented team members and have easy management and monitoring tools at your finger tips so that you don’t have to micro manage or waste a ton of time on useless or outdated business protocols. So will someone kill the meetings, please!

It can be tough to get used outsourcing at first, especially for those who have owned and managed offline businesses in the past. Though it really doesn’t whether you are hiring online or offline today it is obvious that meetings are perhaps the ultimate time waster and productivity killer. Just because you are meeting over the Internet via Skype or another form of web conferencing software and are avoiding travel it doesn’t mean that meetings are any better a use of your resources than before.

Remember it is not just your time that you are choosing to burn in meetings, you are also paying all of your staff to be there too. Is this really the best use of your labor budget or is there a more inexpensive and efficient way to distribute information? This isn’t to say that occasional meetings are not good for bonding and team moral but this doesn’t need to be weekly and especially not daily.

Ask yourself what you really want, results or meetings? Most providers are used to working autonomously but will be happy to accommodate your meeting schedules if they are being paid on an hourly basis. It’ll be the easiest money they make all week. However, constant meetings will also likely dramatically slow down production. Imagine going to your favorite restaurant and then sticking your head in the kitchen to ask the chef how long your meal will be every five minutes. The odds are it is going to take a whole lot longer than if you just let him work his magic and the waiter will let you know if there is an issue or if it is on its way up.

If getting updates and suggestions is your main reason for meetings then perhaps there is a much better and moreefficient way to accomplish this for all parties. By hiring a great manager who should be your go, between you and everyone else you automatically slice out the need for most meetings. Then by implementing a system for real time ad regular updates which you can access online in one place you should have all the information you need at your finger tips 24/7. You get what you want, when you want it, all parties get more done faster and you save money.

Tim picked up the travel bug at a young age from his missionary parents. After building several million dollar enterprises he is now a freelancer, business consultant and professional writer who has adventured through much of Europe as well as North and South America. Thanks to outsourcing Tim has now joined the ranks of those living the jet set lifestyle as an international nomad on the constant exploration of new sights, sounds and tastes. Tim is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

10

Important Qualities a Freelancer Should Look for in a Buyer

When it comes to freelancing and outsourcing there is a degree of uncertainty that goes along with the industry, for both buyer and freelancer.  Fortunate for the buyer though, the uncertainty mostly has to do with not knowing what type of quality they will get in the work provided by a new freelancer.  Considering most buyers do not pay for work until it is at least started, if not finished, there is little risk on the buyer’s part.  There is more risk involved for the freelancer providing the work, for obvious reasons, namely the fact that they may complete a job and end up not getting paid for, so it is particularly important for freelancers to look for specific qualities in a buyer before working with them.

Good Communication Skills – The number one quality to look for in a buyer is good communication skills.  The importance of this quality can hardly even be put into words, because not only is it important to be able to contact a buyer for further instructions when they  are not clear, but there are many other times at which communication is necessary as well.  During editing stages, as well as when a job is complete, a freelancer wants to be able to get in touch with the individual who hired them.  It is also important to be able to contact a buyer if an unexpected situation pops up and prevents a freelancer from being able to complete a job on time, which both the freelancer and the buyer can appreciate.

Patience – When they said long ago that “patience is a virtue” they definitely hit the proverbial nail on the head.  Patience in a buyer is extremely appreciated, and absolutely necessary.  This is because, with the world changing on a technological basis nearly every day, many freelancers will have to learn new tricks, software, and other processes from individual buyers depending on the work.  A buyer who understands this and makes an effort to make the learning process go as smoothly as possible, will be more pleased with the work in the end, as will the freelancer as well.

Fairness – Fairness in a buyer is another important quality to look for, because every freelancer wants to be paidfairly for their work.  In addition, every freelancer likes to be treated with fairness in other situations as well, such as in the case of extending deadlines in certain situations.  Also, in the case of editing a piece of work, and giving due credit where credit is due.  Of course, it is important for a freelancer to be fair in their expectations, in order for the relationship between a freelancer and a buyer to work.

Just as there are a number of qualities that GetACoder buyers should look for in a freelancer, there are also important qualities that freelancers should look for in buyers as well.  Doing this will make the relationship between the two much more professional, and much more enjoyable too.

Michelle Lynn Schmeer is a student at American Public University, with five months left before she will earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  She has been freelance writing for more than three years and has been writing about a variety of topics, including health supplements, business, communications, and travel, just to name a few.  Michelle lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.  She enjoys reading, being outdoors, and cooking. Michelle is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

9

Know Your Goals before You Hire

Nearly any freelancer here on GetACoder can tell you how annoying it is when a buyer does not know what he or she wants. You get hired for a job, and you are ready to go, but then you get delayed while your buyer gets more details or clears up an issue. Sometimes, delays are inevitable, but it is always important to know the goals for a project before you hire a freelancer.

If you have a vague idea of where you want the project to go, do not rush out to hire a freelancer. You should first take the time to create a plan and lay out some goals before you bring other people into the picture. This might mean that you need to talk to your clients about their needs before you hire a freelancer to help with a project. First, it is your job to determine what they want and need (or what you want and need). If there are some details that need to be firmed up, you should make an effort to do that before you hire a freelance because this will save you time down the road.

For example, you need a website done so you want to hire a freelance web designer who can program and design your new website. Before you hire the freelancer, you need to have a good idea of what the website will need and how you want it laid out. You can always ask a freelancer to provide you with a few options, but you still need to know what you want. The most annoying thing for a freelancer is being asked to do things over and over again because a buyer cannot communicate clearly.

Not having a plan is a good way to lose a freelancer. If you have to delay a freelancer repeatedly throughout the project, you might have a freelancer leave before the project is completed, or it might lead to someone who will not work with you again in the future. If you do not know what you want, it could lead to miscommunication and confusion.

You don’t even have to have a whole plan, and you just need something for the freelancer to start working on while you gather further information. Taking the time to lay out your plan will save you a great deal of time and frustration in the future. Every freelancer appreciates buyers who can give clear and precise instructions. If you can be the buyer who provides these instructions, you will build great relationships with your freelancers.

Caitlin Clarke graduated from the University of Mississippi in May of 2010 where she attained one bachelor’s degree in International Studies and another in Spanish. She began working as freelance writer shortly before graduating. SEO articles and blog writing are her specialty, and she claims to have written just about everything. Caitlin is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

8

Are Credentials Really Necessary for Freelancing?

Freelancing can be a difficult way to support yourself when you have nothing else happening that generates income. It’s a tough business with thousands of competitors aiming for the same jobs that you are at any given time. There are many different freelancers who live all over the world and you are sure to find many of them will have more credentials in their resumes than you.

When it comes to getting a freelancing job from GetACoder, are long lists of credentials really that important to land you a job?

Some employers prefer to see a list of qualifications, achievements and certificates as a way to determine if someone is suitable for the job they have but there are also many employers who don’t care much about them. The biggest problem with a long list of credentials is you’ll have to double check if they are real and accurate because there are many people who are known to “tweak” information to make it look better on their CV. Naturally it’s misleading but there are people who fall for it and it does give them an edge on the competition.

If you are a freelancer and don’t have a long list of credentials to show potential employers, not to worry. You can prove yourself in other ways by displaying exactly what you can do. Take some time off to work on your portfolio and fill it with as much quality work as you can. This means writing, programming or designing something just to show it off to employers.

Also take time to hand in your work to publishers, publishing sites, blogs or simply throw it up on your socialnetworking profiles to generate some attention. If someone comes across your work and would like to feature it on their site, you’ve just gained people who back up your work and possibly offer testimonials that you can add to your portfolio.

While a list of credentials certainly help you look good, they are definitely not as important as many may think because there are many different factors that employers look at before hiring a new freelancer to their team. It’s important to make a good impression, stay professional, courteous and making an effort to show your skills first hand. All of these factors combined will certainly help employers determine whether you are fit for the job they have or not.

Eva has been a freelance writer for over 4 years and has experienced the different struggles associated with working as a freelancer and hiring freelancers for different jobs online. She writes and illustrates children’s books in her free time and enjoys learning new trades from her travels abroad. Eva was an English teacher in Japan for over 3 years and has recently returned to her home in Toronto where she works for an online SEO company and continues her freelance writing part time.Eva is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

7

Pension Age Freelancers

The best freelancers know that the keys to a long and successful career include being diligent, professional and having the ability to market oneself. It can initially be difficult to build up a solid and loyal client base on GetACoder but once this is achieved, you have more or less created a smooth career path. Once retirement looms however, you need to decide whether you want to give it up altogether. Yet freelancing is unique insofar as you call the shots. Retiring from an office job at 65 is a blessed relief due to the stress you undergo but with freelancing, you can keep going as long as you like. You may not need to pay the bills, but what else would you rather be doing?

Age As a Plus

In regular companies, older staff generally get phased out as younger fresher blood becomes available. With freelancing, your age can be a mystery to clients who frankly don’t care as long as the work they receive is of premium quality. If you genuinely believe your age could be a barrier, use an old photograph! Yet there are unlikely to be many problems as a client will look at your credentials rather than anything else. In the freelancing world, 30-40 years experience is the king of all pluses.

Retaining Energy

Suppose you are working in a regular job well into your sixties. You will probably be stuck with the full working week which can be a serious drain on your energy. Weekends will be spent recuperating rather than enjoying your remaining years. If you have been freelancing for a number of years, you are likely to have made many friends and gained dozens if not hundreds of clients. Instead of being stuck in an office, you could be traveling around the world with these jaunts masquerading as networking. You can pick and choose your assignments and blow off anyone who makes your life hard. After all, you are doing this for enjoyment rather than necessity.

Less Pressure

Of course there may be pressing financial reasons for you to continue work and freelancing definitely beats the high pressure world of office work where one mistake could lead to the exit door. In freelancing, if you make an error or lose a client there are always others waiting to benefit from your experience. Not everyone can afford to retire at 60 or 65 so a few days freelancing a week will really help your bank balance.

The bottom line is, freelancing allows you to dictate your working week regardless of your age. The decades ofexperience you have will give you an advantage over everyone else and there is no need to endure the stress of irritating colleagues, ridiculous deadlines and overbearing bosses. If you have freelanced for a long time the chances are you truly love it so ignore age and do what you do best: freelance!

An excellent writer, proficient in a variety of topics, Patrick Lynch has four years creative writing experience, which began in the National University of Ireland, Galway where he received a grade in the top 10 of his writing seminar.He is an editor for the University journal, ROPES, and is also a content writer for venusdatingmagazine.com, thirdage.com and kenetixcreativecontent.com. His fluent writing style has received high praise from several quarters. This, coupled with his attention to detail and propensity to complete a project well within any deadlines set, ensures that whomever hires him will be an extremely satisfied customer. Patrick is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

4

Disaster Preparedness for Outsourcing

spread-ur-teams

Outsourcing through GetACoder is in itself a great way to be prepared for disasters and ensure business continuity regardless of what is thrown at you. However, there are certain steps and strategies you should put in place in order to make sure that your organization is really insulated against potential threats to your income.

For a start outsourcing your tasks and operations offshore may provide a safety net in case your locale gets hit by a natural disaster or terrorist attack but you still shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket overseas either. Spread your teams around the globe so that regardless of whether any one city is totally wiped out you will still have staff up and running as normal and able to take orders. This is especially critical with sales teams who need to be available to make and take calls every day. Even if you are using call centers you can have one in Bangladesh, one in Manila and another in the US, all connected and set up to receive calls through one toll free number. If one goes down, calls are automatically routed to your other centers.

Regardless of how trustworthy and reliable any of your contractors are you should never have team members storing data or records on local computers. These should be stored in the cloud using Google Docs or similar so that nothing is ever lost and work can easily be shared with others who may need to step in to help.

On this subject you will also find it smart to pre-screen and qualify freelance contractors ahead of time. That way you are never left to scramble and forced to hire for critical positions on the fly. You will already have backups to call when you need them.

You should already have them anyway, but by creating manuals and systems you can truly automate your business in the face of any issues. When a disaster arises your manager ought to be able to turn to the right section and know how to implement needed tweaks to keep things rolling without even bothering you. Similarly these systems should be able to get new employees up and running in their positions with minimal direct supervision or contact. They should be able to boot up and follow the system so that they can take over any one’s role from day one.

Remember that you might not be able to control what nature throws your way but there won’t be anyone else to blame if you are not prepared. These are the times that separate the survivors and leaders from the one night wonders.

Tim picked up the travel bug at a young age from his missionary parents. After building several million dollar enterprises he is now a freelancer, business consultant and professional writer who has adventured through much of Europe as well as North and South America. Thanks to outsourcing Tim has now joined the ranks of those living the jet set lifestyle as an international nomad on the constant exploration of new sights, sounds and tastes. Tim is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Nov/11

3

Importance of Foreign Language Capabilities in the Outsourcing Industry

While knowing a foreign language is not absolutely necessary to work in the outsourcing industry it definitely has its advantages.  Determining what language to learn is much more difficult than you think though because there are a number of foreign countries that are involved in the growing trend of outsourcing.  This is why many outsourcers and outsourcing businesses choose instead to communicate through non-verbal means.  But, the outsourcer who can speak at least one foreign language is at a considerable advantage in the outsourcing industry, as there are a number of issues that can be avoided by knowing at least a little bit about the language that the people you are dealing with speak.

Better Understanding or Relaying of Instructions – Of course one of the biggest benefits of speaking one or more foreign languages when working in the outsourcing industry, is being able to both understand and relay instructions better.  Language barriers have the potential to obscure exact instructions and expectations and this can be both timely and, subsequently, very costly as well, for both the GetACoder buyer and the contractor.

The Ability to Determine a Fair Price for Work – Whether you are a buyer or a freelance contractor it is important to be able to determine fair prices for work, but this can be difficult when language barriers exist.  Not only are foreign language capabilities important in order to understand foreign monetary systems, but also in setting a price for a specific amount or type of work.  Being able to understand a buyer or contractor means being able to be clear about how much work is expected for a certain price.

Production of Work Typical to a Specific Geographical Location – One of the most important aspects of learning the foreign language of thecountries and the people you will be working with is the fact that contractors will better be able to produce work typical for the specific geographical location.  This is particularly important for freelance writers as there is often a different tone when writing for publications in other countries.  A writer writing for a publication in the UK for example will have to write in a different tone than a writer writing for a publication in the US.  Buyers will appreciate being able to move from one tone to another and the working relationship will be much smoother for it.

Not everybody has the ability to learn a foreign language but those that do are definitely at an advantage.  Freelancers and buyers will increase their profitability by taking this extra step to understand the industry they work in.

Michelle Lynn Schmeer is a student at American Public University, with five months left before she will earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  She has been freelance writing for more than three years and has been writing about a variety of topics, including health supplements, business, communications, and travel, just to name a few.  Michelle lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.  She enjoys reading, being outdoors, and cooking. Michelle is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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