Pros and cons of freelancing?

RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
edited January 3 in IT Jobs / Degrees
I'm wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a freelance software engineer? 

Comments

  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    What are you doing today? Your post from a few months ago indicated that you wanted to major in computer science. Did you complete the degree or appropriate studies?

    The pros and cons are numerous and it largely depends on what you want out of your career. One person's pro could be another person's con.

    Freelancing also depends a lot on the technologies and application stacks that you wish to offer your services.

    If you are referring to doing freelance projects using something like Upwork, there are people that make a living at it. But it's highly competitive. Most freelance developers that I know tend to be highly experienced software engineers with 10 to 20 years developing commercial systems and they get their gigs through their professional networks or they subcontract through staff-aug firms.

    There is also a market for development of small websites, etc. But I don't know much about that space.


  • shochanshochan Senior Member Posts: 839Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I too, was interested in remote/freelance, however, as Paul mentioned...I got on Upwork and there was a lot of competition, and didn't really get any bids...I thought about Flexjobs too, but it is subscription based and really don't know anyone personal that has used it...back in the hayday, I used to be on Keen and used to get called a lot, and actually got paid per min on phone support...however, I think that company has folded longgg ago.
    2019 goals -> CySA+ (Sept)
    "It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good" ~ Danny Carey
  • RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited January 5
    @paul78 Despite what was said in my previous thread what is another alternative instead of freelancing? 
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    @paul78 Despite what was said in my previous thread what is another alternative instead of freelancing? 
    The obvious alternative is to get a job on a software development team at a company. The big challenge as a freelancer is that you won't have credibility  if you have never worked on a software development team. Software teams using various dev processes and collaboration techniques are not generally something that you can learn in a classroom. A hired-gun to an existing software development project is required to be someone that can come up to speed very quickly and integrate into the team.

    Also - as a freelancer - most software dev teams are unlikely to ever use a freelancer for critical or core systems unless there has been some established prior relationship with that freelancer.

    Freelancing on stand-alone projects does exist - but it's highly competitive. I do hire freelancers for stand-alone projects occasionally but only on non-critical projects and only ever on a fixed fee delivery basis.

    If I need external development help - I am more likely to hire a company that provides software development augmentation.

    When a company needs a freelancer, have you wonder how they hire someone? It's not very complicated - like me, they keep a rolodex of go-to freelancers for various subject areas or they ask for referrals from people they trust.

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a freelancer. But it's going to be very difficult without a track record. Plus - getting the gigs without prior relationships and connections can be extremely difficult.


  • RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well what about a startup? I would ask about companies like Microsoft or Nvidia, but I believe those jobs are out of my league and usually they want experienced professionals. 
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yes - startup tech companies could definitely be a good place to start.

    Do you live near a major metro area in the US like NYC, Boston, or San Fran? The startups in those areas are a good way to find software development roles. If you already finished your degree, just start applying to those jobs.

    If you haven't started your degree because of costs - a good way to break into that scene is sometimes through a boot-camp. There are reputable bootcamps which can also help you find that first job. Look for fullstack bootcamps since they do tend to be a bit more comprehensive. A good bootcamp will cost about USD$10-15K which can be cheaper than full college tuition.

    Also - start building your portfolio of projects if you don't already have one. That's going to be generally the thing that sets apart one developer from another.
  • RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited January 6
    What should a portfolio consist of? I went the CS degree route instead of doing a bootcamp and I don't have much software experience and currently teaching myself C# since other people I talked to say C++ is bastardized. Once I get C# down I plan on moving to Python and Java
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Sorry - I should have been clearer about what I meant. Software developers who are serious about their craft are always honing their skills by building personal software projects. So find something that you want to build - and build it. Many developers maintain public repos to showcase their personal software projects - usually on Github or similar. That's what I meant by "portfolio".

    The notion that C++ is bastardized is an academic one. There will always be religious debates about one language being this or that. C++ is a perfectly fine language. Choice of language for a system depends on lots of factors. C# provides a managed memory model that may be entirely unsuitable for a use-case where C or C++ may be more suitable.

    You mentioned startups - I don't come across too many startups using .NET stack but they do exist, so you may want to explore the LAMP or MEAN stacks instead.


  • RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just out of curiosity do I even have a chance working at a company like Microsoft someday? 
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Your chances of working at Microsoft or any other company are proportional to the time and effort that you are willing to invest in your craft and career.
  • RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    Your chances of working at Microsoft or any other company are proportional to the time and effort that you are willing to invest in your craft and career.
    I mean do I have a chance since I have a criminal record?
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I mean do I have a chance since I have a criminal record?

    Sure - it just depends on what's on the record. IIRC - you mentioned it was a misdemeanor. If it was something like a DUI, you probably aren't going to get a job as Sayta Nadella's chauffeur. But it shouldn't disqualify you to be a software engineer.
  • RolloofJupiterRolloofJupiter Posts: 19Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    I mean do I have a chance since I have a criminal record?

    Sure - it just depends on what's on the record. IIRC - you mentioned it was a misdemeanor. If it was something like a DUI, you probably aren't going to get a job as Sayta Nadella's chauffeur. But it shouldn't disqualify you to be a software engineer.
    Its not even for a DUI or even drugs, assault, etc. 
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Its not even for a DUI or even drugs, assault, etc. 
    Great. Then you have nothing to worry about.
  • JoshuaTJoshuaT PhoenixPosts: 11Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Pros:
    • usually, work at home, coworking, cafe, sea, ocean, car, train, airplane, McDonald's, parks etc.  :D
    • no traffic jams anymore
    • much better with a free time
    • happy wife  <3
    Cons: 
    ....no cons  B)

  • gulatisneha56gulatisneha56 Posts: 5Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    What are you doing today? Your post from a few months ago indicated that you wanted to major in computer science. Did you complete the degree or appropriate studies?

    The pros and cons are numerous and it largely depends on what you want out of your career. One person's pro could be another person's con.

    Freelancing also depends a lot on the technologies and application stacks that you wish to offer your services.

    If you are referring to doing freelance projects using something like Upwork, there are people that make a living at it. But it's highly competitive. Most freelance developers that I know tend to be highly experienced software engineers with 10 to 20 years developing commercial systems and they get their gigs through their professional networks or they subcontract through staff-aug firms.

    There is also a market for development of small websites, etc. But I don't know much about that space.


    Hello,
    Excellent answer sir. Thanks for sharing it.
  • JoshuaTJoshuaT PhoenixPosts: 11Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    There are two types of freelance job: with your own projects or as an outsourcing specialist. First is nice, outsource - looks like a remote work on the boss.
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