The project aims to open up the freelancing market for the Student Community and thereby give tremendous exposure and technologically empower the students. Ultimately this aims to create a vibrant technical forum or even a company owned by students among the students that can nurture innovation and entrepreneurship among the students and promote open ideas, technologies and products.
Background and Motivation
Outsourcing as a model has diverged into several different categories based on project domain, technologies involved, size and nature of project etc. One of the less explored categories is the freelancing model. This category is differentiated by the size of the projects involved - usually in the lower end of the price spectrum anywhere from 10$ to several hundreds of dollars. Freelancers differ from the regular IT players in that they work on their own, taking up projects in domains and technologies that they are comfortable working on.
As a community, freelancers thrive on such projects with skills and capabilities that are comparable to those owned by engineering students. However students normally have a few limitations in accessing the freelancing market. Primarily they wouldn’t have a dollar account where they can receive the payments. Getting freelancing projects also pose a difficulty for the students in that they would only have knowledge of very limited technologies. So they would have to sieve through large number of projects before they can get to something they can chew. Another not-so-evident problem is that it is usually tough for newbies to get somebody to give them projects. It gets easier as one builds ones’ profile.
Zyxware Technologies is committed to its vision of playing a role in community and social development. We see the above situation as an opportunity for us to help the student community. This would also give us a chance to bring up a technical community among the students of engineering colleges.
1. Open up the freelancing market for the student community.
2. Give an opportunity for students to earn reasonably good amounts of money.
3. Provide an opportunity for the students to gain exposure in working with international clients and on bleeding edge technologies.
4. Promote entrepreneurship among the students.
5. Give exposure to students in programming, project management, communication and collaboration.
6. Give and edge to students in getting their first job.
7. Create a technical forum of students from different colleges to interact with each other on a technical level.
8. Create a technical community for the promotion of Free and Open Source Software(FOSS).
9. Create a framework for promotion of similar ideas and communities.
Engineering Students of all branches and all semsters from S1S2 to S7.
This project is planned in two modes. In the first one, the pilot mode, we are targeting Engineering Colleges in and around Trivandrum City. Currently the following colleges have been tentatively selected subject to the condition of generating enough interest for the project among the students. The colleges are a) CET, b) SCT, c) Barton Hill, d) Mar Basaleus Engineering College, e) University College Kariyavattom, f) Marian Engineering College. Once the project reaches a stable stage where the processes are set in place this can be scaled up to the next mode where it would be made open for any student in any college.
One of the crucial aspects of the project is to ensure a steady stream of projects for the community. What we propose to do is to hire a team of people (starting with one person or two in the pilot mode) to manage the procurement of freelancing projects and be made available to the students. This would increase the efficiency in procuring the projects as they would have a large group of students with a collective suite of capabilities and technologies ready to take up projects from a wide spectrum.
There is a well established framework of freelancing sites on the internet. However most of them require monthly payments to be able to access the site. We will be registering at these sites to get the projects. Ultimately we will be looking at creating our own framework where students can login and get their project or submit their finished project.
The second aspect in the project is the technical know-how and capabilities of the students. Ultimately students will have to put in effort to learn different technologies and get up-to-date regarding technology trends. However we propose to take 2-4 sessions of free seminars to give an overview of the technologies involved and how they apply to different projects. The students will have to take it up from there in the actual learning part.
Freelancing projects are mostly web oriented or small desktop applications. The technologies involved are pretty straight forward and can be easily learned in a couple of weeks of time. Moreover the students would gain expertise through the projects they do and over a period of time they should be able to take up any kind of project in any domain or technology.
Another question that might come up is regarding the QOS for the end customer. Freelancing projects are normally given by individuals and SMEs and they would be interacting directly with the developer or the team to check on progress and quality. We could also think of setting up a QOS framework within the community itself.
Fringe Benefits for Students
1. Free web-space and hosting .
2. T-Shirts, Caps and other branding memorabilia.
3. Discounts on purchase of PCs and Peripherals.
Sample freelancing projects.
1. Create a personal website comprising of some html pages and some photos.
2. Add a feedback form to a site.
3. Integrate a standard ready-to-install forum software on an existing website.
4. Create a banner for a site.
5. Design a site template.
6. Create icons and buttons for a website or a desktop application.
7. Create small desktop utility applications.
8. Create scripts for automating tasks either in windows or in *nix.
9. Install and customize a standard ready-to-install portal.
10. Integrate a standard module(for ex: photo gallery) in the portal.