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Are You An It Contractor?

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I was but luckily got out a few years ago before rates dropped and jobs went to India.

It's a mugs game now.

Agree with that, the money on offer simply doesn't make the grief worthwhile.

What do you do now?

I'd love to get out but not sure how.

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I'm an IT contractor of over ten years, C# SQL Server.

Been 'resting' a couple of months now. Market seems utterly dead.

How are other contractors finding it?

Been on a three month rolling contract with a FTSE100 for nearly two years (SQL Server/Access). Couple of months ago they said they wanted to extend my contract to the end of the year but with a rate reduction of about 10%. Haggled a bit but still wound up with a bit of a reduction. Then they decided to have a contractor cull and my contract now ends in a few weeks (though I never had to take the reduction as that was based on staying till the end of the year).

Through word-of-mouth I've managed to get a contract in the Middle East (accomodation, flights, etc all provided) which should be interesting! I did have to interview but a former colleage vouching for me got my foot in the door.

Did have a look about on jobserve and spoke to the agency for the current contract and it's all looking pretty grim. A colleague who was working with me at the current company has been out of work for 8 months - he does SQL Server too and is well qualified and experienced so I was surprised he's been on the bench this long.

Friend who works looking after servers (mainly Exchange I think) recently made redundant but was able to find another position quickly (though has had to move). Another friend was without a contract (AS400 stuff) for over a year but has just started a new position.

In summary - from what I can see, things are pretty grim...

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In Netherlands. Working (UNIX, tech support) for same company as last year but at 20% lower rate. We were told ´take it or leave it´. I took it as rate still very decent despite cut.

Company now realise they let too many people go and are frantically trying to hire. Contract due for renewal end Sep, pretty sure they want to renew.

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Guest UK Debt Slave
I'm an IT contractor of over ten years, C# SQL Server.

Been 'resting' a couple of months now. Market seems utterly dead.

How are other contractors finding it?

I saw the $hit coming last year and took a full time job. Crap money but at least I have a little job security.......for a little while anyway.

All the contract positions that were available are gone. None of the companies I have worked for since 2003 would be able to hire me at the moment.

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Agree with that, the money on offer simply doesn't make the grief worthwhile.

What do you do now?

I'd love to get out but not sure how.

Can you write?

Publishers like O'Reilly are always looking for professionals who know their stuff AND can write well. A typical advance is $5,000 - $10,000 for a book that takes 4 - 6 months to write in your 'spare' time. Royalties after that can be $20k/year for a decent title.

PHP, Java, C, C++, C# Objective C and SQL are all big right now.

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Long term contract in city. Holding on, but probably not too long left.

Of the contractors I know in the city, I'd say 25% are out of work and 50% have taken large cuts.

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I'm an IT contractor of over ten years, C# SQL Server.

Been 'resting' a couple of months now. Market seems utterly dead.

How are other contractors finding it?

Glad you brought this one up - i have just been flucked big time. Company changed my contract which was a 32k a year salary to a fixed term contract and lowered all our salaries by 12k.

They have just made it unafordable to commute 84 miles a day and i have asked them not to renew my contract end of September - what they are now paying me is equivelent to a dole check + my family tax credits.

talk about being shafted - thing is they are replacing me with a contractor on my original salary.

Thing is, the company we are doing all the work for has not cut the price and terms of the contract - just our company being greedy and using the recession as an excuse

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2 mates of mine on rolling contracts (3 month) at CITI have just had their contracts extended by 12 months. Seems like they are doing OK

Edited by MinceBalls

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Long term contract in city. Holding on, but probably not too long left.

Of the contractors I know in the city, I'd say 25% are out of work and 50% have taken large cuts.

Of all the contractors I know in the city, all are in work.

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Can you write?

Publishers like O'Reilly are always looking for professionals who know their stuff AND can write well. A typical advance is $5,000 - $10,000 for a book that takes 4 - 6 months to write in your 'spare' time. Royalties after that can be $20k/year for a decent title.

PHP, Java, C, C++, C# Objective C and SQL are all big right now.

I`d buy a decent book on Java. The couple I`ve read leave me slightly more knowledgeable on the language, yet much more confused !

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I have my own recruitment consultancy specialising in IT and have made 2 placements all year and one of those was meant to be a contract but they talked him into perm.

I have some fantastic project managers working for £250 a day, that are used to commanding £700 a day and are just about keeping their heads above water, it's very stressful for some, the Oracle guys seem to be doing quite well though :blink:

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Software testing contracts still seem to be around. The husband is on a rolling 3-monther, has been for about a year, but gets calls all the time from agents. Rates being offered are still £300-350 a day, so around average, maybe a bit below, for those contracts in the SE.

Surpisingly a lot of financial Comps in the square mile have started recruiting again. Stopped for about a year but hubby is getting loads of calls about roles at banks etc again now.

Seems Test Lead consultants so far have escaped relatively unscathed.

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I am Perm and I have been since uni, however I moved to a safer company 2 years back. I get candidates CVs sent through to me at work. Ex contractors are asking for 40k for a donet dev job in the midlands which is pie in the sky prices. Your looking at 20k->30k for a dev job with SQL, perhaps 35k if you really excel and have qualifications and LOTS and LOTS of experience. IMHO most people dont need really really excellent people, and are willing to pay less for somone without all the bells and whistles. 40k is just dreaming

Edited by moosetea

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Out since Dec 20th

Had two interviews since, one phone interview where the guy couldn't work out beforehand that I didn't have the skills to do the job and a face to face where someone else got the job. Nothing else.

My previous client is about to go bust.

tim

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Well its not all grim - I just a left a 50K perm salary.

I had two offers

1) Big bank - perm - 65K

2) Smaller bank - 410 a day - Contract

I took the contract - I am young have cash and want to take risk.

I have seen a ton of jobs at RBS

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Oracle Spatial baby. There are about 7 people in the UK really know how to use it. Friend of mine has 2 phones, one for agencies and his own personal one as the agency one if off the hook. Seems a lot of ex contractors are about, but none with the right skills.

Also heard IBM asked contractors for a 15% cut. Some said yes, kept their jobs, some said no, kept their jobs. Some said, not so much, kept theirs jobs. Some left.

I think it's a fantastic way to actually improve your margin; there are so many people literally crapping themselves at the prospect of being out of work and have taken cuts just to stay in work. There are also people out there who know their worth and have kept their jobs and rates.

Companies will use this for as long as they can. I don't know about contracting anymore, I have a small consultancy now, but the work is as steady as she was before, as is the money. I'd find it bizarre if a contractor went back to permie; it wasn't an option for me. If you get used to earning £750 a day, it rather perverts your sense of what is a normal days pay. I heard of some company in Madrid recruiting UK contractors for €20k a year selling lifestyle. Made me chuckle really, some people will try anything on.

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I have seen a ton of jobs at RBS

It's interesting that RBS are recruiting for IT. I know someone who is a manager (customer facing) in the North West and they are making so many customer facing staff redundant that they are having to pace the rate at which people leave so that it doesn't cause huge disruption.

I wonder how they can be increasing IT but reducing other staff levels so quickly? Unless they are secretly creating some AI robot to perform the tasks humans used to :D

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Glad I am a contractor in the Oil Industry rather than IT. :unsure: However, several friends in IT are struggling.

As with many of life's decisions, perhaps more luck than judgement.

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I`d buy a decent book on Java. The couple I`ve read leave me slightly more knowledgeable on the language, yet much more confused !

That's Java. Christ, what a language. I've got an O'Reilly "In a Nutshell" for 1.1 which has around 600 pages. The latest edition has double that.

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