Moonlight: Software Contracting Platform with Emma Lawler and Philip Thomas

Software engineers often work as a contractor for some duration of their career.

A contractor earns a fixed hourly salary for a defined period of weeks, months, or years. Contract work can be more flexible than full-time work, and often pays more than full-time software engineering, because contract jobs can end at any time, and they do not have the added employee benefits such as health insurance and stock options.

Online contracting platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr have expanded the number of software contracting engagements that take place. Developers on Upwork and Fiverr have a wide range of skills and experience levels. The clients who come on Upwork and Fiverr looking for developers are sometimes unsophisticated at managing software projects, and in some cases they defraud the software developers who are making their living online, and trick these software developers into delivering free work.

Moonlight is a contracting platform for software engineers. Today’s guests Emma Lawler and Philip Thomas are the founders of Moonlight, and they join the show to explain why they started the company, and the gaps that exist in the world of software contracting. Moonlight’s model is different than most other contracting platforms, in that Moonlight requires clients to pay a $300 subscription fee to recruit engineers on the platform. This $300 subscription price lowers the rate at which clients take advantage of software engineers. This dynamic causes the software engineers to take their work more seriously and act more professionally.

Full disclosure: I am an investor in Moonlight. I have also been a paying client of the service, and our newest version of the Software Daily app was built by Mostafa Gazar, who is a talented Android engineer I met on Moonlight.

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