Do you want to change careers and become a programmer? 2020 made you think and you want to be able to work remotely thanks to the code? You have finished your studies, your bootcamp or your training and you do not know how to get your first job?
So you want to become a coding pro? Congratulation ! Although the road to becoming a good developer will be long, you can launch your career for free and at your own pace.
To become a freelance developer, you will need to be proficient in at least one programming language and have one or more production projects under your belt. To get your first freelance contracts, there are many sites to find your first clients.
To put the odds on your side, I share with you the free steps that will allow you to start earning at least €400 per day in just a few months.
Let’s see together without further ado how to launch your career as a freelance developer quickly.
To get started in freelance development, you will need to learn computer technology, create an online presence, find your first clients, obtain legal status and complete your first contract.
You will find a detail of these 9 steps in the points below.
1. Choose the right language or framework
As you surely know, there are a multitude of computer languages. In these languages, we often find several “frameworks” (sets of libraries) which constitute a profession in their own right.
To choose this technology, you just have to ask yourself the right questions: Do you want to learn Web Development? Create mobile applications? How to work in a video game studio? Dealing with data? Programming software in a certain environment?
Do your research on Google and you should find fairly quickly which industry standards you are interested in.
JS makes it possible to create websites, mobile and desktop applications but also to code servers.
Interested in mobile development? Check out my article How to Become an Android Developer.
If you want to build Web 3.0 or are passionate about crypto, become a blockchain developer.
2. Learn to code efficiently
Now that you have an idea of what you want to learn to start your career, you will need to know How? ‘Or’ What to start.
You will find on the internet everything you need for free and at all prices.
By the way, I have written several articles to help you learn to code:
The most important piece of advice now is to go deep into your chosen technology and don’t dwell on other languages right now. You will have a lifetime to deepen other languages, it is imperative that you have a deep knowledge of at least one language before you disperse.
Depending on what you prefer, you will find books, written or video tutorials or even trainings, bootcamps and schools.
Find the way to learn that suits you and go for it, a little every day and persevere.
3. Persevere in learning to code
Some say it takes a lifetime to become a good developer, others promise results in 6 weeks of bootcamp. So you’re probably wondering how long it’s going to take you to become proficient enough in coding.
The question will depend on your desire, the technology you learn and your skills.
In general, it will take several weeks to several months (or years if you are in school).
As giving you a precise duration of time does not make much sense, tell yourself instead that you will be ready when you have accomplished a fairly successful personal project. And that’s good, that’s exactly what we’re going to see in the next step.
4. Create a portfolio to set yourself apart from the competition
In most training and courses that you find on the internet, you are made to do a project to end your learning. It’s not for nothing, once the theoretical skills have been acquired, you have to practice.
Many do this project as a school assignment and stop there to validate their training. It is a mistake.
The key to success is to take this project (or another that inspires you more) and add features that make it unique and demonstrate your knowledge.
Have you been asked to make a To-Do list? Take it a step further by adding data persistence, drag’n’drop, connect it to a cloud service like Firebase, the possibilities are endless.
Having a successful project to show will give you a huge advantage when looking for a job or an assignment.
5. Create a Github account
Once your unique project is created, you can put it on Github.
Github is a site that lets you post your code for everyone to see. It’s an essential open-source platform that will allow you to start creating your portfolio and eventually contribute to free software projects.
Github promotes the Git version control tool which is used by all developers to manage their code base. Learning Git is essential for your first job.
6. Create a LinkedIn account
You now know how to code, your portfolio is visible to everyone and you are starting to build a reputation.
The next step is to use LinkedIn to receive several job offers per week automatically.
For this, you have to position yourself well by completing your profile so that it is “All Star”.: Add as many people as possible by favoring developers and people in the industries that interest you. You can also add me on LinkedIn by telling me that you come from this blog. Post a professional photo of yourself. Indicate your experiences, training or course you have taken. And above all, add your project which is now hosted on Github
7. How much does a freelance web developer earn?
Computer science is one of the only fields in which you have control and the power relationship is reversed, it’s the recruiters who want you, not you who have to adapt to the market.
You need to see yourself as the prettiest girl in high school who gets hit on by the boys, not a homeless person who comes to someone who’s busy asking for a room.
You will see that beginner freelance developers ask for 400€ per day and that some developers are paid several thousand euros per day. Your reaction will be that you’re not worth it… you’re wrong.
To give you an idea of how much you can ask for, go to Malt.fr and see how much the junior developers in your technologies are paid, as follows:
If you are on a permanent contract, you should not go below 4000 euros gross per month to start.
If you are freelancing, ask minimum 300€ for a day if you are on a little requested technology and 400€ or more for the others.
For more information on the Malt platform, I recommend this video from Malt.fr’s Director of Operations:
8. Find your first missions
To find your first mission, check out the missions available on Malt, Fiverr, and other sites. Align yourself with the salaries as seen above and you should quickly find your first customers.
If you want to start with a CDI to cut your teeth, you can first find a job to professionalize yourself.
After the salary (which is not your number 1 priority if you choose the salary), it is the technologies used and the people with whom you work that matter the most.
To find these two points, Go to Meetups to start networking, making developer friends and learning. They are all over the world and you can find them on meetup.com and elsewhere.
If you’re in a remote place or you’re too shy, prospect on LinkedIn and talk to recruiters, but be careful… don’t get cheated on your salary.
9. What status for the freelance developer?
The final step before you can start working legally is to establish yourself as a freelancer.
If you are in France, start by declaring yourself as an autoentrepreneur, registration only takes a few tens of minutes in most cases and you can start invoicing. Once the maximum thresholds have been reached, you will have to create another type of business.
For people who are not affected by the auto-entrepreneur scheme, you will have to create a company to be able to invoice your customers. I let you do your research, talk about it around you and contact other freelancers to find your answers.
Earn more money as a freelance developer
You now have a clear plan of attack for learning to code, getting to market, and getting a job automatically.
To go further, don’t forget to update your different profiles once you have experience.
Also continue to do personal projects on the side, continue to learn outside of work will allow you to progress much faster and get noticed positively.
If you went to Meetups and you liked it, continue to network, also offer to speak at these events by talking about a technology, methods or one of your projects.
Working for others is not the safest and most profitable way to do your job. Also find out how to create additional income with your coding skills by downloading my free guide.