Get your questions about working as a contractor, free-lancer or other self-employed Tester answered

If you have questions about being self-employed as a tester – ask them here… :slight_smile:

How do you find opportunities as a contract tester?

In the UK it’s getting harder, with the proposed (and currently delayed) change in the law regarding tax (and lack of protections and workers rights, despite having the change to “employee” status for tax). I can’t comment for other countries. I find more roles advertised for automation than manual (exploratory) testers (which is me). It’s gotten really patchy in the last few years.

My tips as a UK contractor are:

  1. Networking. IMO, this is by far the most effective way to find work. Old colleagues, people you met in events/meetups/conferences.
  2. a platform where companies can shortlist you for roles. Also used by the big ad agencies. has no costs to you as a contractor.
  3. LinkedIn, or other job boards. This I find to be the least reliable way personally.

Re UK working, I have a guide to getting started and what you can earn, and how to structure your company and salary/dividends split.

Here’s my guide.

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I work with a few (selected) agencies I found I can trust over here in Germany.
Occasionally a possibility pops up over on Twitter, too. — And in one case even lead to a longer running project. I like Xing, too. In Germany it works well for me.

I believe that the important thing in the early days is to get to know many people (not just those how have projects available, but also this hw know the one who do).

Last but not least: Attending and speaking at conferences helped finding great projects.

It helps to be able to show actual work.

That can be conference sessions, publicly available bug reports (open source projects!), and maybe even writing books or contributing to books (to me this turned out to be a lot less intimidating than I thought i would be).