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Contract Work Skill Level?

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I've been looking into using my programming skills to do some programming work so I can earn some money, and I've come across a few sites where you can make a portfolio and get hired to do work. So, I am looking for some help:

What skill level should I be to join the site and work as a freelancer?

I believe I am skilled enough to work on some smaller C++ jobs for a little bit of experience, not so much the money. What do you believe my skill level should be? And if you've ever used any of these sites (Elance.com, odesk.com) what do you think of them?

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Either you can do the job, or you cannot. If you can do the job then you have the requisite skill level. If you aren't certain it is best not to take the risk as a contractor.

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I will caution that in my experience, the contractors are given the harder work, and often wind up doing more coding and implementation than design. Also a lot of places I've worked (as a full-time employee), the contractors were usually brought in to make a particular piece of technology and the full-timers would simply maintain it afterwards.

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I will caution that in my experience, the contractors are given the harder work

QFE.

Keep in mind that this is particularly true of C++ (as it is for the various rarer, but highly-specialized languages). One can pickup relatively unskilled Ruby, Python or PHP gigs, but C++ projects tend to be more critical to begin with, and contractors are expected to bring a very solid set of skills to the table.

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