Back in the heady days of 1984, working on the development of Microsoft Unix yes, that was a real product, AKA Xenix, we needed to write an Ethernet driver, but none of us really felt up to that. We needed to hire an expensive specialist.And so I met my first contractor, who turned up in a far better car than anyone else and illustrated why contractors are hired: either because your boss needs something done by a specialist, or because office politics stop people from hiring permies who can actually do the job.

via So you want to be a contractor? Well, heres how it works • The Register.