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Other than "answer a lot of questions" and "build up a good reputation"?

For example, let's say someone has a problem, and I identify it as a well-known NP-complete problem and refer to some algorithm or algorithms. Is it bad SO etiquette to say something at the end like "If you want to hire me to implement this, contact me via the email address on my profile"? (Yes, I know that in many cases someone else will kindly post a basic implementation free of charge so it might prove to be a waste of time to offer consulting/contracting services, but let's entertain the possibility that in a few cases, someone might be able to get some work out of it.)

Apart from that, any other do's and don'ts for consultants seeking work?

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Get yourself a Careers 2.0 profile. If you get hired through that site you know that your boss must be cool as he uses SO. –  Octavian Damiean Apr 11 '11 at 8:26
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Just sent you an invite to Careers. Have invitations laying around I don't know what to do with... –  Won't Apr 11 '11 at 14:34
    
Awesome, thanks Will! –  Robin Green Apr 11 '11 at 15:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Is it bad SO etiquette to say something at the end like "If you want to hire me to implement this, contact me via the email address on my profile"?

I'd say it is indeed bad etiquette. I'd tread very carefully with anything other than putting a big fat note into your profile that you can be hired for projects (which is always okay) and of course, showing competence on SO. But actively soliciting your services in questions is frowned upon, and as a general rule, will do you no good.

If you're lucky, you'll come across people who have a problem or requirement, turned to the site as a last resort, and would be more than happy to pay somebody to fix it. Or professionals who are in dire need of a new hire to support them. They will look at your profile page if they get a good answer from you, and they will contact you. It's happened to me even though I am not mentioning any availability in my profile at all!

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