A software developer, also known as a computer programmer, is the person in charge of the design, research, testing, and programming of computer software.
This can range from mobile app development all the way up to enterprise-level apps.
In bigger companies, there may be one employee for each of the tasks above, but in small enterprises, one programmer might be in charge of all of them, as the budget is limited.
When considering a new computer programming job, 53.3% of developers said remote options were a top priority, according to the Stack Overflow 2018 Developer Survey.
Are you looking for a work-from-home career in software development and are interested in freelancing programmer work-from-home jobs?
In pop culture, we think of most freelance software developers as the stereotypical socially-awkward introvert or loner who works from a “command centre” in his basement, much like the Warlock in Diehard 4.
The truth is that many freelance software developers can work from home or from anywhere, as long as they collaborate with the rest of their team on some tasks.
As a work-from-home mom, you can choose to get back into the workforce by taking up part-time work-from-home programming jobs.
This will give you the freedom to work on the best freelance programming projects, run your own business and choose your own clients.
In this article, I’ll outline some ways to start freelancing as a software programmer and get work from home IT jobs.
Become a Better Coder
Whether you have the skills to be a freelance computer programmer depends on what sort of computer programmer education you got in college or learnt on your own.
If you need to learn to be a better coder, you can get started with entry-level programming jobs from home while doing on one or more of the courses below.
Explore technology trends – like big data, cybersecurity, data science or digital marketing, with a short online course, an in-depth program or full postgraduate degree from top universities.
Learn with experts from the world’s top universities, specialist organisations and tech companies. Network with and learn from other professionals all over the world.
If you need to ramp up your skills in software development, this software development course on Udemy will help you do it. You’ll learn about OOP, UML, Agile, Kanban, SCRUM, and get crucial insights into the software development industry.
Most Popular IT Specializations In 2018
Most programmers are proficient in one or two coding languages but need to upgrade their software development skills as more specializations become popular.
According to Coursera, these courses were the most popular IT specializations in 2018. You might want to consider adding some of these skills to your resume.
- Deep Learning from deeplearning.ai
- Python for Everybody from University of Michigan
- Data Science from Johns Hopkins University
- Applied Data Science with Python from the University of Michigan
- Google IT Support Professional Certificate from Google
- Advanced Machine Learning from National Research University Higher School of Economics
- Architecting with Google Cloud Platform from Google Cloud
Job Boards For Finding Freelance IT Jobs
When you’re looking for freelance programming jobs from home, you will have to join these freelance work sites where clients go to hire a programmer online for remote jobs or offshore software development.
Here’s a list of freelance IT job boards where you can connect with potential employers.
SolidGigs requires a paid membership, but they’ll send you weekly gig lists packed with the best freelance jobs from around the web, as well as course lessons from experts in freelancing and business and lots of information you can use to bid for freelance software developer jobs.
GitHub is home to the world’s largest community of developers and their projects. From open source to business, you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside 31 million developers. GitHub Jobs is their jobs board where you can find freelance and full-time jobs for software developers.
StackOverflow is the largest online community for developers. Register here to hone your skills and find remote jobs on their jobs board.
Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, and project managers in the world. They only accept great freelance coding professionals so you’ll gain access to a network of top talent, great companies, and resources you can leverage throughout your career.
The top freelancing website, Upwork is where many clients come to find and hire a programmer, so it’s a great place to find the best clients, and to run and grow your own freelance programming business.
Upwork has a validation process, and if they think you’re not a good fit, they won’t accept your application, but if they do, your chances of getting freelance coding jobs will increase drastically.
Complete your profile and they’ll highlight ideal jobs. Also, search for projects, and respond to client invitations. There are a wide variety of freelance software developer jobs that offer high pay.
Clients are now posting jobs in hundreds of skill categories, paying top price for great work. The greater the success and ratings you have on projects, the more likely you are to get hired by clients.
The downside is that Upwork is very competitive and new freelancers can take a long time to figure out how to create bids and proposals that work. But there are entire courses that teach you exactly how to work this freelancing platform, such as How to Dominate Freelancing on Upwork.
You can also learn how to write better Upwork proposals that get more responses in less time, and implement a variety of psychological tactics and techniques to help you get hired more often in the Advanced Upwork Proposals: How To 10X Client Responses Fast course.
If you’re looking for a freelance website development job or a WordPress or PHP programmer job, you should be registered on Fiverr. It’s not just for $5 jobs. People charge hundreds of dollars on Fiverr for bigger jobs and clients are happy to pay them.
Rodolphe, the founder of Remotive, has helped companies such as Accenture, Google and Buffer think more about remote working. He knows exactly what it takes to become a great remote worker — and wants to help you do the same. His community supports each other by sharing remote jobs + productivity tips.
For a list of over 70 remote job boards, check out my Work From Anywhere course. Create an account on all these freelance programming job boards, build a strong profile and list all the skills you have.
Here are some criteria you should follow when choosing freelance coding work on these remote job boards and software developer sites.
Since potential clients looking to hire a freelance developer will read your reviews and make their judgments based on them, you should read the reviews about them as well.
Client hire rate
Some clients post a contract programming jobs project but never hire anyone. It’s best to avoid them as they are unlikely to be reliable employers.
The number of bids or applicants
The fewer applicants there are for the freelance coding projects, the better the chances of getting hired, but you shouldn’t care too much about numbers. Learn how to submit a great proposal, and you’re already better than half of them.
Make sure the project is doable, and your skills are good enough to execute it solo or with help from your freelance programmer friends.
When you find a project you want to bid on, decide how much you’re going to charge based on the time, effort and resources you’ll require and if the money they’re offering is enough.
This is entirely up to you and knowing your value will make a big difference in your freelancing career.
How To Build A Career As A Freelance Computer Programmer
There are two ways to get started on your freelance career path. The first option involves taking a leap of faith and leaving your current job to find a freelance coding job.
This choice involves significant risks, as you can burn through your savings pretty fast without actually getting any long-term freelance programming work and could end up having to go back to a full-time office job.
The second option to becoming a freelance programmer is to take things slow and work towards building a solid reputation as a talented and reliable freelance software developer.
The second option is what will establish you as a professional and get you referrals without asking for them so that you have more work than you can handle.
You can start by taking up entry-level computer coding jobs from home while keeping your full-time job. That way, you’ll have a source of income while you build your online profile and get good ratings from employers.
I’m going to show you some tips you can apply to drastically increase your chances of getting hired, whether as a freelance web programmer, PHP programmer or any other work from home IT job.
Build A Portfolio
Your portfolio is the only factor that can turn a No to a Yes, so build your own software developer website where you can showcase your portfolio. Make sure you do this on a self-hosted WordPress site on your own domain, and not on a free blog host.
When you can demonstrate your expertise to a potential client, you can set yourself apart, show what you’re capable of, and go from charging an hourly rate to a rate per project.
Your portfolio can also showcase your custom software development or bespoke software development skills so that you can differentiate yourself in the crowded freelance marketplace.
Promote Yourself And Your Services
One of the best ways to promote yourself is the same way that most businesses rely on – word of mouth marketing. That means if you get a work from home IT contract, you should create happy clients by under-promising and over-delivering on your contracts.
That way you can create a portfolio of great work and delighted clients who will gladly recommend your services to their network as the best software developer they’ve ever worked with. In time you’ll build up a reputation as an ace work-from-home programmer.
Keep your social profiles professional and up-to-date. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and ask happy clients to post a recommendation on it as this is another route by which potential employers can find and hire you.
Start a blog where you can write articles to boost your visibility on search engines, and you will soon start getting offers directly through your personal website. Use Twitter to share your blog, so you can tell potential clients what programming skills you have to offer.
Register on the software developer sites and job boards above so you can become visible to clients looking to outsource their software development jobs.
Attend Events And Network
It’s not so much WHAT you know as WHO you know that matters. For freelancers, networking is an important way to promote yourself and grow your connections.
Start by attending different tech events. Also, attend startup events such as TiECon if you want to offer your services to start-ups and other businesses who may want to hire web and PHP programmers.
If you specialize in a vertical such as real estate website and application development, or software for real estate developers, you can also attend events where you can meet people in that vertical, such as real estate developers who are looking to hire a PHP programmer in India.
Become Tax Compliant
You need to pay your taxes, so hire a tax expert or accountant to find out your tax liability and help you become compliant. Get a PAN and GST number if you don’t have one.
Learn how your tax slab will change when you earn more money or decide to open your own software company. Pay your professional taxes and GST regularly.
Become A Software Entrepreneur
As a freelance software developer, you can even start your own business by developing a great software solution that solves a specific problem in any industry or gets enough people in the world to use it.
There are numerous examples of software programmers who made a fortune creating just one software solution such as Paypal (hello, Elon Musk), Facebook (hey there, Mark Zuckerberg) and Windows OS (hi, Bill Gates).
If you’re resourceful and have an entrepreneurial mindset, you can make loads of money in this very lucrative field, all while working from home in the field of software development outsourcing.
Software Development Consulting
Another lucrative job for freelance software developers is in the field of software development consulting.
If you’ve built an excellent professional reputation in software development in India, for example, you may want to become a consultant instead of a gig worker or freelancer.
You can register on websites like GetMeExperts, which is a global aggregation platform for niche experts. They promote the “Experts On-Demand” concept. Their experts are available for on-call advisory from Industry Leaders, which may be as short as 15 minutes.
As an IT consultant who works from home, you can earn a very good living using your software development skills to help businesses around the world solve their problems.
Final Tips For Work-From-Home Programmers
Online programming jobs allow you to work remotely from wherever you want, and allow you the kind of freedom that you’ll never get from a full-time office job.
Many freelance software developers got started on this career path by sheer luck. Some of them got lucky and managed to snag a long-term contract, while others built a successful app. But most didn’t plan on it.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get a freelance software development work-from-home contract from out of nowhere.
The more likely scenario is that you’ll have to work hard, keep learning and growing your skills, and prove yourself both as a developer and as a professional. You’ll also have to learn how to promote and sell yourself as a freelancer.
Since you’re selling your skills, you must convince your potential employer that you’re better equipped than your competition to handle any freelance computer programming jobs.
It can be hard to break through into the freelance world and find freelance coding jobs, but as long as you’re an avid learner, you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work and software development expertise.
The disadvantage of freelance coding jobs online is that not everybody can do it. The best freelance computer programming jobs usually go to the ones who are organised, meet their deadlines and create happy clients.
About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the publisher of Naaree.com and offers career coaching services for work-from-home and stay-at-home moms. Book a career coaching session with her for work-from-home career advice and learn about work-from-home career options in India.
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