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Hourly Rate Estimator

This tool asks you eight simple questions about your project and computes an estimated hourly rate for my software development services. Please feel free to leave any of the questions unanswered; you will be given an approximate estimate, which you can further refine by answering more questions.

When you are finished answering the questions, click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of the page. You will then be given the opportunity to provide additional information and comments, and/or submit a rate commitment request.


1. What type of organization do you represent?

Rationale: I may give discounts for individual or non-profit work, or charge more for industries where additional constraints on technologies and designs are likely to apply.

No answer/Other
Research Laboratory/Academic
Technology Company
Financial Institution
Government Organization

2. What type of software development is required?

Rationale: Development of simple software is cheaper, because it involves fewer headaches and requires fewer skills. Complex applications and scientific software tends to take more effort, requires more skilled developers, and entails higher risks.

No answer/Other
Simple web development, such as web pages with little or no scripting or dynamic content
Dynamic web development, such as e-commerce websites with database connections
Simple applications or command-line utilities.
Complex applications like word processors and games.
Scientific or mathematical code, such as speech recognition or computer vision software.

3. What primary development language will be used?

Rationale: Certain programming languages require more skill and more experience than others. Note that some languages are not well suited to certain purposes. For example, C, C++, and assembly languages are not normally used in web development, but may be required for math-intensive software where processing speed is key.

No answer/Other
I (David Dewey) will decide the language
PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, ASP, or similar languages
C or C++
Assembly Language

4. What platforms will be targeted?

Rationale: The implications of the answer to this question depend on the previous question's answer. Certain platforms with certain languages may entail additional development difficulties. Development for multiple platforms may be especially difficult, depending on the development language.

No answer/Other
Mac OS X
Multiple platforms

5. What is the project time frame?

Rationale: Larger, longer projects require a higher level of commitment on my part, and also entail higher risks. I thus charge slightly less for smaller projects.

No answer/Other
One week or less
One month or less
Six months or less
One year or less
Over one year

6. What is your location?

Rationale: I live and grew up in the Seattle area, so it is more convenient for me to work for companies near Seattle. Since I spend a great deal of time in China, it is also convenient for me to work for companies in East Asia.

No answer/Other
The Seattle Area
North America
Mainland China/Hong Kong
Elsewhere in East Asia
Somewhere else

7. How much time must I actually spend working on site as opposed to from my own office?

Rationale: I'd rather work from my own office and commute/travel as little as possible. Commuting wastes my time and energy. Fortunately with email, phone, and teleconferencing, there should be little real need for on site work with most projects.

No answer/Other
No on site work or meetings will be necessary; I may work entirely from my own office.
One or two on site meetings may be required; otherwise I may work from my own office.
I will need to work on site once every few weeks
I will need to work on site one or more days a week
I must work on site every day

8. Will I be allowed to subcontract parts of the project to other developers?

Rationale: Oftentimes only a small part of a project will require a highly skilled developer, and other parts can be written by less experienced developers. I would still carefully inspect and be responsible for any code written by these other developers.

No answer/Other
I may subcontract parts of the project to developers anywhere
I may only subcontract to developers in the United States
I may only subcontract to other University of Washington CSE graduates
I must do all the development work myself and not subcontract to anyone else

Answer Submission

You can now submit your answers and see the estimated rate. You will be able to go back and modify your answers later if desired.