I've been a successful telecommuter as an contractor in an application developer role on a random basis. Usually contractors aren't allowed this opportunity, but I've always been able to deliver quality work in a timely manner when I telecommuted. Also, at one company, I was able to work two days a week on a regular basis, but usually it's just on occasion: over holidays, bad weather, weekend work for a release, etc...

I've heard that developers typically don't like to telecommute, but I've found it's easier for me to work this way, no distractions, but I don't know if that is true in general or not?

My problem is I've never been able to land a full time contractor or perm position as a telecommuter. I've not had a problem landing work as a developer on-site. However, I've had interviews and I know the positions are out there, I'm just missing something that I need to actually get a full time telecommute position and I'm not sure how to change it to get a position?

  • 1
    Are you applying at places that have telecommute in the job description, and do you have evidence in your CV that you have the drive to work independently? The latter is something that companies look for in telecommuting.
    – jmort253
    Aug 31, 2013 at 20:20
  • Yes, I'm apply for telecommute positions and I have it in my CV.
    – user10412
    Sep 1, 2013 at 0:38
  • So you apply for telecommuting positions and you have experience telecommuting, are you sure you qualify in al the other areas? Something is missing.
    – user8365
    Sep 3, 2013 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


I must be one of the rare birds that does this. I have done this to varying degrees since 2009, however there are some special case aspects to this.

I've been programming since the 1970s, so I'm known for this kind of stuff from way back. The more material element of this is that I've used older, 'legacy', development environments, such as QuickBasic, dBase/FoxPro, VB6, and 'classic' ASP. One reason this matters is that the work I'm asked to do requires a lot of 'reverse engineering'. In short, I'm handed a black box and am left to figure it out. This tends to involve a lot of exploration and in some cases lengthy speculation about what something is or how it's done.

Someone acts as my 'agent' - thus I am not landing my own business, someone has this queued up. It is not a typical 'recruiter' - although what he does might be described as 'body shopping'. He has relatively few clients, these are small, and he operates in the kind of niche that large recruiting organizations aren't able to service.

I operate on projects for tiny organizations with very complex requirements. I have an accounting background from the 1980s - this is critical to the projects I work on. I know how to transactions migrate to and from GL accounts, financial reports, and quarterly and annual closeouts.

To get something other than weekly or monthly quickies, you'll need commensurate skills. This might be Java or ROR, but more likely you will need extensive SQL database plus accounting plus business process plus some prior experience in some vertical market. Examples of the vertical market might be health care, insurance, or government public records - situations where the knowledge involves the arcana of the user community as well as the technical skills.

  • I think this explains what I was looking for. As a telecommuter I'm competing with a virtual pool of developers, so I need to find a niche skillset for this.
    – user10412
    Sep 1, 2013 at 17:14

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