Programming is not easy, and if you want to work as freelance programmer, you need more than just “knowing how to program”. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about that later, but to avoid confusion, let’s start with…
What Do Freelance Programmers Do?
If you want to work as freelance programmer or do something related to programming (aka software development), I don’t think these concepts need to be defined, as you will know them very well.
Freelancers, on the other hand, are autonomous workers, or teleworkers, whatever you want to call them. Someone can work as freelance programmer from anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection.
In other words, they are the person responsible for the software, software plug-in, web page, or anything else that involves code, development, or programming. If you’re currently working independently from home and have the freedom to set your own hours and choose your projects, you’re also somewhat of a freelance programmer.
For ease of use, all software already has a web version, an extension, or a mobile app (or all three at the same time). Interestingly, the development and evolution of these applications often occurs after migrating to the cloud, making it easy to build and improve from anywhere in the world. It makes independent programming not only possible, but very common.
Why Do Companies Hire Freelance Programmers?
There are many reasons. According to SelectUSA, there were 100,000 technology and software companies in 2015, 99% of which had fewer than 500 employees.
In this digital age, new technology companies want to enter the market every day. Often these startups have limited space (and budget), which encourages their managers to reduce risk by hiring an individual who wants to work as freelance programmer, thereby lowering fixed costs.
It all comes down to one simple reality: lower fixed costs = higher chances of survival. In a Latin American country or a fast growing country like India, despite being a third world economy, the technical education is advanced and the human capital is as skilled as any other developed country.
This is an opportunity for companies to be more productive, and have a better chance of success.
In What Area Would You Like to Work as Freelance Programmer?
As you know, the term “freelance programmer” is too broad to fit into one category. We can divide independent programmers into various categories based on the respective development area and the type of software involved.
In general, we can divide them into one of three broad categories:
- Front-end web programmer: The person responsible for programming all the visible details of a web page, such as animations, and other visual interactions, such as programming the main page, programming of virtual stores, scheduling Membership Pages, etc.
- Back-End Web Programmer: Person responsible for programming the operation and functionality of a web page, such as the ability to register, integrate with other applications, etc. With the same subcategories as the profile above.
- Application developer: Android or iOS. There are also FullStack developers who learn both parts of web development and developers who specialize in WordPress and other types of software development, but the most sought after developers in the freelance world tend to fall into all three of the above categories.
Requirements to Work as Freelance Programmer
To Work as freelance programmer requires a lot of learning. As you know, it’s not just about the technical part and “being able to program”. If I had to take just one concept out of the entire article, it would be: When you decide to become a freelancer, you are building a business that is completely your own. You are responsible for each department.
Maybe it’s something you don’t understand right now. Programmers start to learn all the programming languages, frameworks, and everything that might be relevant to their field. But a greater responsibility rests on your shoulders.
Now you are responsible for the marketing or customer acquisition department, sales department, customer service department, finance department, etc. You have entered the business world and your independent business needs attention in all areas to thrive.
Once you experience it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you ever decide to freelance, you’ll remember this simple yet powerful concept.
Skills Required to Work as Freelance Programmer
It may sound like I’m saying funny things, but these 3 qualities I’m going to mention are just as important to any programming language you master to be successful as a freelance programmer.
- Entrepreneurial spirit
Leaving a traditional job and becoming self-employed is a risk in itself. Clients don’t just come to you with projects. How will you provide ongoing support after the project is complete? Already have another project? Do you want to be prepared for what is coming?
If you are planning to start freelancing, there are some mental preparations you need to make in order to be successful and have a stable income in the future.
- Keep learning
This is essential for technical careers like programming. Constantly updating, studying, devouring books and courses of all possible shapes and sizes is almost mandatory.
Today you find out the latest news, tomorrow to your surprise it is outdated. Getting in the habit of reading articles, watching videos, or anything you want to learn for 3 days will give you a huge head start.
Sometimes we think that since we only use computers for work, we have the right not to improve our communication skills. But it is the other way around. Your first contact with the client about what you offer, the way you say goodbye, or any updates in between can be the most important factor in getting hired again.
Highlight your ability to express yourself in writing, without also forgetting the oral part. Be sure to read often. It’s the small details that can make the difference.
I also recommend you to strengthen your written and spoken English, the technical material you will use will be based on this language and mastering it will increase your number of clients by 1000%.
Tools And Languages Needed to Work as a Freelancer
As we’ve seen before, there are so many things developers can think about, so the languages and tools they use are expected to vary. Here are some tools you may have heard of (in fact, don’t be surprised if this list is out of date tomorrow).
Web programming languages
- I leave
If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. Decide what type of freelance programmer you like and learn more about the languages that have a higher demand.
Remember, you are in business now, and every business knows that the higher the demand, the higher the return.
Of course, your income will depend on the sophistication of the language and the demand of the market. From there, 90% of the information you need can be found online for free or relatively cheap. It is a matter of determination and focus on self-learning.
Some of the recommended websites to learn are:
- Tree house
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
How Much Does a Freelance Programmer Earn?
We have come to an interesting place. Being a freelance programmer can be a very lucrative career due to the complexity of “coding”.
Different sources give different values based on the samples or the experience of the source, which in turn was used to collect the data. As well as the hours worked and how efficient or focused your freelance work is.
What can I tell you: No matter where you are, I believe that as a freelancer you will have more potential than with just a job.
Freelance programmer James Knight decided to leave Google, one of the tech giants, to travel the world with his wife and earn double his Google income. When it comes to the world of freelancers, not even a position in Google can come close.
Where Does a Freelance Programmer Get a Job?
There are different ways to find a job as a freelance programmer. From personal contacts to guest posts on tech blogs, these are all effective ways to land clients.
But in this section, I will mention some websites where you can work as freelance programmer.
These platforms are frequently referred to as freelance platforms, and some necessitate pre-approval to evaluate your skills, establish a freelance profile, and dispatch personal proposals to prospective clients.
- Yeeply holds the distinction of being the inaugural platform dedicated to mobile application and game development. It originated in Spain in 2012.
- WokPress: This platform is tailored for WordPress developers and consistently posts freelance opportunities in the aforementioned areas of expertise.
- Upwork: This platform claims the top spot among contemporary freelancers, with over 3,000,000 projects submitted annually, encompassing virtually every development or programming category imaginable.
- Toptal: Designed as a conduit between companies and programmers, designers, and independent financial experts, this platform is renowned for the caliber of its freelancers. Its slogan reads, “hire the best 3% of freelancers.”
- Gigster: A relatively recent addition to the marketplace, specializing in recruiting freelance programmers and developers for AI projects.
Becoming a programmer is not easy. Neither it is to be a freelancer. But that does not mean that it is not possible; it probably requires as much energy as getting a traditional job.
If you are clear about what you want, and then you focus on achieving it, then nothing can stop you. Remember, you are now the owner of a business and you are responsible for the performance of each department. It’s time to put your knowledge to use.
Find more tips and information on our website MecanicaDiesel.