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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Any market for LAMP consulting?

I have an idea I would like to work on.

But, if the money doesn't start rolling in soon enough (does it ever?) I will have to do something to pay the bills.

I know PHP developers are a dime a dozen, but I think there may be some market for MySQL work - optimizing adn so on. Also, there actually are some small business running Linux (I was surprised).
Sunday, April 20, 2008
If you can, focus on the Zend engine (for PHP), security on Apache (SSL etc.). I don't know much for MySQL.
Victor Noagbodji
Monday, April 21, 2008
From a small job contracting standpoint, PHP is everywhere.  I work a lot on Guru.com and maybe 1 in 3 jobs has something to do with PHP.  MySQL and Apache are obviously popular given their propensity to be included with PHP.  I think if you only did PHP, SQL and a bit of Linux stuff, you could easily earn enough to get you through until your product comes to fruition.
Joshua Volz Send private email
Monday, April 21, 2008
If you can demonstrate competence at scaling MySQL applications to handle large numbers of users, you can do much better than just OK.  You can basically name your own price.  The demand for this talent far outstrips the available supply.

The downside, of course, is that to be successful at this requires much more MySQL expertise than most people have. But that's why it pays so well...
Jason Lefkowitz Send private email
Monday, April 21, 2008
Not to be rude...  but if you're not sure there's a market for it, I'm already convinced that you don't have the skills required.  If you had the skills required, you'd see that there certainly is a market and you'd be living/working in it.  ;)
KC Send private email
Monday, April 21, 2008
There is a market for it, but I would say 80% of the success in consulting is related to networking. You need to start networking now if you hope to support yourself with consulting when you quit. You should be hitting local groups, meeting other PHP devs, getting integrated into the community. Finding a consulting gig through the job boards is very hard in my opinion, especially if you plan on charging a decent rate. RentACoder style boards are useless unless you want to charge $20 to build a Ebay clone, and the other ones like Dice are hit or miss. (and most of the consulting on board like Dice is going to be on-site 40 hours a week or more, so basically just like a FTE)

Monday, April 21, 2008
>> if you're not sure there's a market for it, I'm already convinced that you don't have the skills required.  If you had the skills required, you'd see that there certainly is a market and you'd be living/working in it.  ;)

KC - that's not fair, unless you meant skills as being networking and publicity skills.

Technical skills alone don't mean a lot and don't tend to be a big differentiator in consulting success.

The only thing that matters is that you can find someone to pay you money for arcane and nichey knowledge that you have.

Most business people who have technical problems can't recognize them well enough to hire someone to fix them.
Bored Bystander Send private email
Monday, April 21, 2008
In my experience consulting work is something like 50% networking/reputation, 40% people-skills & BA work, 10% technical. I'm sure there are other ratios, but I throw these out because first you need to actually *get* the work (50%) and then recognize the underlying problems that can and *should* be solved (40%) with technology (10%). As techies we always want to build technical solutions, but so many things can't or shouldn't be solved with technology. Funny how we almost solely focus on the 10%...

So, OP: I'd suggest there definitely IS a market for LAMP (or anything else) but the crux is not in finding demand for LAMP but rather finding problems that could be solved using the LAMP stack and then proving that you're the one to solve them. This is the difference between being a programmer and a consultant.
Mr. Blah
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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