This question was posted by Mallory who needs advice on “how to begin a freelance software developer career!”
If you need help with a Question or Challenge, be sure to ask it as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering Mallory’s questions below!
Mallory’s Questions Are:
I have started an account on scriptlance which is for programmers. However I am not a professional programmer.
I joined because I was looking for genuine data entry jobs i could do as a freelancer.
Do I need to be a professional in order to get jobs on that site or will they use newbies.
My second question is how can I go about learning my first language.
I am familiar with excel and microsoft word which are software.
Mallory, Here’s How To Start A Freelance Computer Programmer Career
You can start a freelance computer programmer career if you have at least one of these qualifications:
Computer Programming Skills:
If you choose the path of learning computer programming before starting your freelance software developer business, learn a popular, modern object oriented programming language like ASP.NET, C#, VISUAL BASIC.NET, SQL SERVER. You may also consider learning PHP, MYSQL, HTML, XHTML, CSS.
Marketing or Project Management Skills:
Consider starting a freelance computer programmer business if you have project management, marketing, advertising or pubic relations skills.
You don’t have to learn computer programming or become a computer programmer if you’re starting a freelance computer programming business.
Learning a programming language is not a requirement for a freelance computer programmer career because you can compensate for lack of computer programming skills by working on business tasks like accounting, marketing, public relations, advertising, project management, customer service or by hiring others to write he code for you!
You may learn computer programming languages and then start a freelance software developer business or you may utilize business management and marketing strengths to start your freelance programming business without learning a computer programming language!
Comparing Full-Time to Freelance Developer Careers
Starting a freelance computer programming business is not the same thing as starting a full-time or contract software developer career and here are some of the reasons why:
In a full-time or contract programming job, you focus on the programming skills because your employer takes care of the business, management, marketing or money issues.
In a Freelance Computer Programming career, you focus on the business, how to market your business or how to earn an income because you’re the employer!
In a full-time or contract computer programming job, the employer expects you to write code all day along and not to outsource or delegate programming tasks!
In a freelance computer programmer business, your clients expects you to get the software program written according to specifications!
Unlike full-time or contract programmers, freelance computer programmers retain the right to delegate programming tasks and may choose not to do it by themselves!
Full-time or contract computer programmers grow their careers through promotion to more senior development work.
Freelance computer programmers grow their careers by adding on more clients, projects or computer programmers!
You succeed as a freelance computer programmer by working on your business and not by treating it like a regular 9AM to 5PM job!
The Benefits of Starting a Freelance Computer Programmer Career
High-Demand: There is a high-demand for computer programming services. Elance, a top freelancers website reports that software development services like database programming, web design, web development are the most sought-after in the freelance job market!
Flexible Lifestyle: You work from the comfort of your own home, on your own time and at a pace you’re comfortable with.
You may run a freelance programming career at the time of day or night that suits your family, person or lifestyle
Freelance computer programmers may transition into full-time or contract programming jobs because as they become skilled at solving problems.
The benefit of solving problems for an industry is explained in this article: “become a leader and get the job you want!”
Stops Unemployment: Starting a freelance career is a good way to deal with unemployment issues or handle the downtime between jobs!
It starts you earning an income, gets you building skills that you can trade-in for a full-time job and keeps you doing productive work!
How to Succeed at a Freelance Computer Programmer Career
Starting a freelance programming career is not “a bed of roses”.
You have to deal with client’s demands, pressures or concerns, unpleasant computer programming bugs, the quirks of fellow computer programmers and competition from everyone else who wants a piece of the golden pie!
Here are some challenges that you would have to face or master to succeed at freelance computer programming:
Positioning: You have to develop a position early in your business because of competition for freelance dollars!
Marketing: How well you can market may be more important than how well you can code!
Accounting: Sending invoices, tracking payments, managing accounts receivables, estimating and paying taxes and your cash flow will make or break your career!
Project Management: You have to learn “how to delegate work” because you can’t learn every programming language or work on every project!
Business Analysis: You may not be able to hire business analysts, so you have to elicit, analyze, validate or document requirements correctly and by yourself!
Software Development Methodology: You need to establish processes for checking in code, collaborating with your clients or working on the same project with other team members!
Specialization: Whether you write the code yourself or delegate all programming tasks, consider specializing in web design, web development or in a suite of software development tools.
Choosing a programming language is not your only consideration or even the major one!
There are tools, processes, methodologies and systems that you also have to put in place for your freelance computer programming business.
If you’re interested in starting a freelance career Click here to read or download a FREE Report on the TOP 100 most in-demand skills In The Freelance Industry … or contact us for more information.
This post answers the question of “how to become a freelance computer programmer”.
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