C Sharp Contracting

Find below, why C# contractors are in demand, what role might be right for you and how much you could earn.

Basically the benefits are very simple: higher daily rate and the fact C# contractors are very much in demand. Most large corporates aren’t hiring fulltime employees at the moment, they are instead turning to the contract market to fulfill positions which is fuelling the high C# daily rate. Which is all good news for C# contractors.

What is C#?

C # (pronounced C Sharp) is just one of the many languages used in the big world of Information Technology. C Sharp is the most popular programming language created by Microsoft.

C # is a hybrid language (when we refer to hybrid think of mixing elements, like cross pollination, tulips mixed with daisies’ gives daisilips-ok not a real flower but the same idea!). C Sharp has a combination of previously useful language features mixed in with new elements to make it better.

In the past when software applications were created and developed there were various programming languages to choose from. Creators could pick and choose whichever language they thought would be more functional for online or business apps as not necessarily all languages worked for both online and business apps giving them some limitations, however Microsoft found they could help improve features of the original languages by making a more generic language that would support all applications created, meaning C Sharp would be more user friendly, giving C# workers the chance to develop applications however they saw fit, now their only limitations were their imaginations.

Microsoft has opened many doors for contractors. Not only have they released a new ‘framework’ called .Net that helps create the basis of any software application, they then created the C# language that would work in conjunction with the framework easily. So they had two brand new sectors contractors could sink their teeth into and become experts in.

Visit our Becoming a .Net Contractor page for more details.

Why are C# Contractors in Demand

C Sharp contractors have the strongest knowledge on one of the top programming languages used to create software applications. They have a skill set that would make most people dizzy! The technicalities involved within this position do not make this the most popular field of contracting, yet the demand for C’# jobs is high and still growing. From what started as a rather small job sector, the job opportunities have increased giving contractors the chance to choose which company they work for.

Not only that, but the original C Sharp language is constantly being updated, giving another great opportunity for contractors to be called in to handle updates and maintenance of the system when needed.

What C# role is for you?

There are three primary roles available in the C# profession, now remember its quality not quantity, so don’t feel disheartened or worried should you think there isn’t enough work available out there. There are various levels of skills and responsibilities in these positions, and new roles are being created every day as software language’s are being integrated and tested, giving you more contracting options and the chance to learn more skills. So think about where you want to start…

  • C# Programmer- They create the application based against the initial brief using the C# language. Making sure the initial basic structure of the application tests correctly. They will create a basic prototype for the Developer to see. Programmers are involved in some of the design and maintenance of other programmes aswell whether they be online or on the computer.
  • C# Developer - They brief the programmer as to the idea and basic design of the software application, they tell them what the purpose of the application is for the client and what current apps it needs to work with in order for the programmer to get the coding correct. The developer’s purpose is to then handle the design of the application. Once the programmers have tested and finalised the language, the developer would then be involved in evolving the programme. Analysing the development process of the programme, testing the programme further and finalising all details.
  • C# Engineer - With this role you would need to contain a combination of both programmer and developer skills. An engineer is in charge of the overall execution of the programme, making sure the app runs correctly for the client. They must also get involved in final stages of development, maintenance and testing of the software, their main purpose is to analyse the reliability of the program and maintainability of this complex process. Where a developer could work on just one application to be created an Engineer’s responsibility is to not only oversea the creation of an application is going correctly but work on various projects in the process. They think about how that software will work with the machine and what elements are needed for reliability.

Now, as you may have noticed a lot of these roles responsibilities cross over in some way or another. The truth is all three roles work hand in hand so there are some grey areas as to whose responsibilities fall where, however as a contractor this gives you an upper hand giving you the chance to learn skills in all areas.

What will I earn?

Daily rates are around £500 a day for C Sharp contractors which incidentally is the one of the highest paying IT contractor daily rates around (however obviously this can vary wildly and I’m sure some contractors are on £1000 plus). With regards to take home pay, if you worked through you own limited company, as most contractors do, you’ll take home anything between 70% - 75%, and any accountant will tell you that working through your own limited company is the most tax efficient way possible. If you work through an umbrella company you’ll take home around 60% - 65%.

How can I get a C# Job?

Recruiters, job boards, friends, colleagues and who knows, you may even have luck with a social/business media site like LinkedIn although be aware there are a great many job search’ers and very few job offer’ers on such sites (can you ever remember seeing a job advertised on LinkedIn), but it doesn’t hurt to keep your details up to date.

Recruitment Sites

We know using recruitment sites to search for work is the most obvious option, but not only will signing up to websites allow you to search and apply for jobs easily, companies will also be able to view your CV even if you haven’t applied for a position with them. Should they have a particular position available companies may approach you should you have the skills they need. We recommend looking at the following sites:

  • Technojobs
  • C# Sharp Jobs
  • .Net Jobs
  • SAP Jobs

So, make sure you upload your CV to recruitment sites even if you can’t see your ideal job just yet.

Your CV

Now, before you get that CV uploaded make sure you have all the essential qualities included that will make your CV stand out from the crowd, think about…

  • Key Words- More and more employers are using job boards and recruitment site CV database search facilities to find candidates. If your CV doesn't include 'scannable' keywords and industry buzz words for your particular industry, your CV might not be found, despite the fact that you might be the best person for the job/contract.
  • Two pages not ten- There has been lots of research on how many pages the perfect CV should have. All evidence points towards two. It's about getting the right balance between just giving enough information to ensure the client wants to find out more about you and not too much so they get bored reading it.

These are just some of the things to consider when writing your CV. For more help on writing your CV visit SJD's Contractors Career's Centre page this will tell you what the most important thing to remember in your CV is and learn the Top 5 Tips.

Go to the source-Difficult, but not Impossible!

Contacting companies direct isn’t always the easiest option as they’ll be sneaky and hide their details as best as possible in order not to be bothered, but make sure to hunt through websites thoroughly. Normally there is a general enquires email address that could be a helpful alternative, also forum’s could help supply a point of contact telephone number or like Microsoft who are one of the most popular companies to work for in C# roles (seeing as they are the creators of the language) there is a dedicated application page for graduates, permanent, temporary and contract roles. So even if it seems like a long shot make sure you try all resources.

Also think outside the box. Think about organisations that have their main source of income coming from online purchases or offers. Look at smaller fish to catch! Small companies that are new to the industry and are waiting for their popularity to grow may be more interested in hiring contractors rather than full time employment should their business fail. Look in local newspapers for the opportunity to start with something local.

Finding a contract can be a challenge but it is definitely the way the market is moving. Fewer and fewer positions are being advertised as full time vacancies and more and more are being recruitered with the contractor market.