Being a web developer today requires a lot of skills to start and became a good one. Luckily there are quite a lot jobs for beginners so you don’t have to be afraid that you won’t find a job before you became super pro senior programmer with decades of experience.
I wanted to make this simple, without some extra details, if you want those extra details – contact me, or write in comment and I will gladly reply or add more about this.
Here is my story and how I started. Before my first real time job, I started freelancing in order to became better, to learn more and probably get some better projects and work. My philosophy is maybe weird for someone but here it is: If you plan just to stay at home and learn everything yourself you will probably get stacked with your own thoughts that you are the greatest programmer of all time or the worst one. But the truth will be somewhere else. Why? Because you don’t have experience in real world projects. I understood this only after I changed my first job. You will understand it too, just don’t be afraid of it. It is normal and it forces you to learn and do more!
Ok, here is simple way on “How to became web developer freelancer”:
1. Sign up for a good online workplace. You may use PeoplePerHours comes.. Upwork fees are a little on a higher side, actually little bit too much, but after merging two biggest online workplaces ( Elance and Odesk ) few years ago they pretty much forced everyone to migrate to their platform. So, they have clients and you need them. But after doubling their fees in June 2016 people are looking for a better platform. And here is where
2. You need to create a profile within their profile page. Put good effort to ensure that you highlight all of your important skills in your profile page. Even though you are a student, you still should have some skills that you feel confident about. Those skills should be listed first. Also in UpWork you are now able to attach a link to youtube where you can introduce yourself, the same you can do with PPH where you can record your video specially for People Per Hour. I’ve found this very helpful to introduce myself and the employers also feel very confident, they feel you much closer than just looking into your words on the display.
3. Ensure you have a good computer with solid internet connection. This is critical part of being a freelance with whom employers want to work. They expect you to be online and at times participate in screen share etc, even attend important meetings with stakeholders once you have settled down with them in their projects.
4. Now coming to the your fees for service. This really depends on the geo location of yours. Most of the employers on UpWork and People Per Hour are from United States and Great Britain. Most of the employers knows about the prices are very different in different parts of the world, therefore expect your rate to be adjusted accordingly. If you are based in U.S. as a starter I have not seen anyone getting paid more than 30 dollars an hour. Your mileage may vary, however there are employers who don’t care about your geo location and offer you rate on par with U.S contractors sometimes.
5. Build professional attitude and seriousness for the work. Please bear in mind that these are real people, most of the small time business owners, and this is their livelihood like yours. One project fails means they have to bear the loss and its not easy. So don’t be childish like those quick buck freelancer, make some money and run away, log hours which you should not be logging at all. Trust me once these employers sense that you are a reliable they will literally love you and send bonus every now and then 🙂 and not to mention that they will often refer to their friends as well. So be polite, responsible and empathetic to them, you sure will be rewarded.
6. Write proper proposal and don’t write those canned proposal. Ask questions that way your prospective employers knows that you have read the job description and gave it some thought. Make good first impression. If they ask for a skype interview be on time.
7. Be prepared for a bad patch. It could take a while before your land your first job. But once you land it don’t loose it. As I said in earlier points, once you build the trust relationship getting more and more work is not a big deal at all. I once waited 3 months to get my first contract, now I often have to apologize to employers for not being able to take up on their projects. I have a client with whom I almost log 45 hours a week non stop for last one year.