This is the first article in our series about “How to become a freelance developer”
The world is changing and companies are changing with it. Talent is not a local game anymore, and companies are having to adapt in order to get access to the best software developers. Talent is evenly distributed around the world.
The other side of this story is true too — even though talent is evenly distributed, opportunities are not. If you are a passionate and smart software developer who wants to get access to great professional opportunities, you need to play the global game too.
Fortunately, playing this global game has become easier than ever. We are living in times of abundance, and this applies to remote opportunities for software developers too. Let’s take a look at a real example.
I am currently writing this article while traveling near Đà Nẵng, in Vietnam. I just used indeed.com to search for software development jobs around here, and this is what I found:
As you can see, there are only 27 full-time positions for software developers around here. Now, if my life and community are in Đà Nẵng and I want to stay here, I have two options: I can either compete really hard to get one of those 27 jobs, that most likely won’t be the best paid or most interesting job in the world, or I need to find jobs outside Đà Nẵng.
Does that mean I have to leave my life and community behind? Professional and personal choices shouldn’t be in conflict. They should be aligned and work together. And the best way to achieve that is to break free from the barriers that location-specific jobs impose, and join the global remote workforce.
If I run the same search in indeed.com, but this time I select “Remote” as location, I get 1,049 results for full-time jobs.
Much better, right? Well, kind of. Having more options means that, most likely, there will be more interesting and better paid opportunities among them, but it also means I will now have to compete with every other developer in the world in order to get that job. Sounds tough, right?
Well, here is the answer to that problem: before you can get one of those jobs, you need to prove that you are an outstanding remote developer. The good news is that you don’t need to be a senior developer with more than 15 years of experience to prove that. In fact, many of those companies would be glad to give an opportunity to someone that is early in her career, only if that person already knew how to work as part of a remote team.
How do you get that experience if you can’t get a remote job first? You have to become a freelance developer first!
Just in upwork.com, one of the leading online freelance platforms, there are almost 27,000 projects looking for a developer right now, and new projects are being added every minute. Freelancer.com returns 133,231 additional projects. And there are many other platforms you can check out.
Can you really get one of those projects without much experience and without a portfolio? The answer is “Yes”.
At my company, Microverse, we run a full-time program to train remote software developers where we ask our students to dedicate 15 to 20 hours per week to working on freelance projects. Most of our students come with nothing to show in their portfolio and they start sending proposals to projects in upwork.com and freelancer.com from their first day. They normally get their first approved project within the first week in the program.
I hope I gave you enough reasons to understand WHY you should tap into this opportunity and break free from geographical boundaries in your professional and personal life. In the next article, we will talk about HOW you can make it happen.
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