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Contractors: Setting Up a Limited Company is not "Tax Efficient"

Over the last few months I've made the transition from full-time employment, to self-employment, and finally to working through my own limited company. If nothing else, this should make my next tax return particularly interesting.

Forming a limited company to invoice through is fairly common practice for contractors, not least because there is a perception that it's more tax efficient to do so. In fact it's more than a perception: it's a widely-held belief, which is repeated time and time again. It's also completely and utterly untrue.

Let's get this straight: for the average contractor there are absolutely no tax savings to be made by forming a limited company.

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Posted on Wednesday, the 8th of February, 2012 | permalink | comments (37)

Bonus Schemes Should Be Handled with Care

I was recently chatting with a colleague about bonus schemes, and it occurred to me that every single company I've worked for (that's four, if we're counting) has implemented at least one such scheme, and the outcome is always the same: pissed-off employees.

There seems to be a kind of unquestioned assumption that employees want bonus schemes, and that employers are being good employers by introducing them. Such schemes are, without exception, described as being a "benefit". After all, who doesn't enjoy receiving a bonus with their pay cheque? What could possibly go wrong?

I'd like to argue that bonus schemes can go wrong. In fact, they are harmful more often than not, and should be handled with care.

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Posted on Saturday, the 27th of June, 2009 | permalink | comments (1)

Some Thoughts on Testing Developers

For reasons I can't quite fathom, I've been thinking a lot about testing developers recently. That's testing developers as part of the hiring process, as opposed to developer testing (which I do bang on about rather a lot, to be fair).

I say I can't fathom the reasons, because we're not actively recruiting right now, nor am I looking to be recruited (though if you have your air conditioning switched on you may be in luck).

So anyway, it's fair to say that before you hire a developer, you want to find out if they're any good at developing, right? And therein lies the problem: how on earth do you measure the candidate's skill level?

I've seen, and used, a few approaches myself, so I'll go over a few of them and see what drops out the other end.

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Posted on Sunday, the 10th of August, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

Hint to Employers

Posted on Thursday, the 3rd of April, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

Herding Cats

For as long as anyone can remember, the term "herding cats" has been used as an analogy for the challenges involved in managing developers. The implication being, of course, that developers tend to be smart, wilful, single-minded folks. Personal experience suggests this is often the case.

The analogy was reflected in the title of a book named "Herding Cats: A Primer for Programmers who Lead Programmers", written by the impressively named J. Hank Rainwater. I mention it because this is a decent read for anyone who develops, or who works with developers - whether in a management capacity or not. It's not in the same league as "The Pragmatic Programmer", but I'm getting off the point now.

So anyway, I came across this video via Yahoo MySQL guru Jeremy Zawodny's blog. It's so slickly made that you're not surprised when it turns out to be an ad for a big expensive professional services company. But I liked it.

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Posted on Saturday, the 8th of March, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

...and keeping them

Posted on Saturday, the 11th of November, 2006 | permalink | comments (0)

Finding them...

Posted on Friday, the 10th of November, 2006 | permalink | comments (0)

I am Not a Resource, I'm a Free...Oh Wait...

Posted on Friday, the 3rd of November, 2006 | permalink | comments (0)