Show Me the Money: Computer Programmers Now Getting Agents

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The geeks are becoming celebrities: the best are now getting their own professional representatives.

Silicon Valley is only a five-hour drive from Hollywood. Maybe that’s why the idea of hiring an agent to get a job as a computer programmer is taking root there, at least according to Businessweek.

10X Management, which started a year ago, is one of the first agencies for software developers. It finds freelancers work, handling negotiations for their pay and managing invoices. As with sports and entertainment agents, it commands a 15 percent cut of their pay in return, and currently has about 30 clients, including people who used to work for Google and Apple.

In a discussion about the story among techies on Slashdot, one user said 10X got him better rates than he made on his own, even after factoring in the company’s cut.

The company’s run by Altay Guvench, a Harvard grad and a developer himself. He personally vets the programming skills of many freelance coders and tries to get them work in fields they enjoy. 10X is trying to help clients build careers, while at the same time building itself a reputation for project-saving coders.

Working with an agent might be an easier approach than something a major advertising agency recently tried: luring programming candidates by allowing them to play a popular video game online with the CEO.

Stacy Johnson

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